For about 48 hours after the government of Canada’s throne speech, a whole crap ton of people–yes, including me–were up in arms over consideration being given, after this long with it being exactly the way it is with no uproar from anyone whatsoever, to change a part of Canada’s national anthem to make it more gender neutral. Instead of just rewriting that part of the anthem, and then later on rewriting the parts to do with everything from religion to the fact it’s not some peoples’ native land, I have a perhaps not unoriginal solution. Replace the whole thing with this video. Why? Well, it’s simple. Anne Murry is Canadian. Hockey is Canadian. The song itself is Canadian. It salutes Canada’s national symbol–the maple leaf–and doesn’t offend anyone. Or, if it does, no one’s cried about it yet. And the song is just plain awesome. It doesn’t hurt that it was sung in Maple Leaf Gardens, either, but you know.
A little background on the video: in 1999, Maple Leaf Gardens was officially closed down, and the Toronto Maple Leafs moved to what is now their new home, the air Canada center. Before the last game at the Gardens–a game in which they lost rather badly, there was quite the tribute going on in honour of it. This song, performed before what I believe–my memory fails me at the moment–was a packed house, pretty much sent the message that regardless to where the team plays, or what else ends up changing around them, the team’s still the same. And, they’re still toronto’s team. And, surprise surprise, they’re still not going to be any closer to winning the cup–because they’re still Toronto’s team, damn them.
In other words, minus the hockey references, just like this country. It’s changed a hell of a lot in 20 years, nevermind since 1867–when the original song, not this particular version, was written. But it’s still Canada, and we’ll still call it home. Even if we wouldn’t recognise parts of it from the way things were growing up. This song is Canada, plain and simple. crack open a beer, and let’s kick ass Canadian style. The maple leaf forever, damn right. Now, have a video.