Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Maple Leaf Forever... Happy Canada Day!


O, land of blue unending skies,
Mountains strong and sparkling snow,
A scent of freedom in the wind,
O'er the emerald fields below.
To thee we brought our hopes, our dreams,
For thee we stand together,
Our land of peace, where proudly flies,
The Maple Leaf forever!

Long may it wave, and grace our own,
Blue skies and stormy weather,
Within my heart, above my home,
The Maple Leaf forever!

From East and West, our heroes came,
Through icy fields and frozen bays,
Who conquered fear, and cold, and hate,
And their ancient wisdom says:
Protect the weak, defend your rights,
And build this land together,
Above which shine the Northern Lights,
And the Maple Leaf forever!

Oh, Maple Leaf, around the world,
You speak as you rise high above,
Of courage, peace and quiet strength,
Of the Canada I love.
Remind us all our union bound,
By ties we cannot sever,
Bright flag revered on every ground,
The Maple Leaf forever!

Long may it wave, and grace our own,
Blue skies and stormy weather,
Within my heart, above my home,
The Maple Leaf forever!


"The Maple Leaf Forever" was composed by Alexander Muir in 1867, and was Canada's "unofficial" anthem until "O Canada" was written. The original lyrics of "The Maple Leaf Forever" were distasteful to some, who felt that the "up-the-Empire" sentiments were antiquated, offensive, and even comical. I was delighted when this lovely tune was given these new lyrics in 1997 by Romanian emigree Vladmir Radian. The first performance of the revised song was performed in concert that year by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

1 comment:

mrinz said...

I do admire Canadians for how proud they are of their flag and all it symbolises.

On my first trip to Canada I was amazed to see your flag flying absolutely everywhere.

Then when I lived and worked there I had to learn the National Anthem and sing it with the children at school every morning. It felt really weird to be singing another country's anthem with fervour and gusto. I have to admit sometimes I crossed my fingers behind my back.

The school replaced their flag while I was there and I was given the old one. I still have it, faded and fragile.

 
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