crazyheart's picture

crazyheart

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Singing O Canada in schools

I just heard on the radio that Brandon, Manitoba is going to stop singing the National Anthem in schools ( not sure if it is all schools)

 

Now all things religious, being left out of schools, imo, was a good move but why would the National Anthem be a controversy?

 

If you are born in Canada or a new citizen, why would you not want to sing O Canada?

 

When I was in school , we had assembly every morning for 5 or so minutes - sang O Canada , and announcements to the whole student body were give, and prayer was offered (  which is now not done). When we hear talk that Canadians aren't patriotic enough, could  it be that this is the example we are giving our kids by not paying enough attention to the National Anthem

 

What do you think?

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cjms's picture

cjms

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Here's the story.  http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/01/28/nb-o-canada.html

 

Personally I don't sing all of the current lyrics but in general don't mind it.  BTW, why are we forcing children to sing the anthem when it is so rarely sung by adults at various events.  Whenever I go to a sporting event, I'm amazed that I am usually one of the VERY FEW singing along.  So it wouldn't really bother me one way or another...cms

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

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I'm really curious about the parents who complained to the principal. What is their objection to the anthem? We had O Canada every day when I was in school (of course, we still had prayer back then, too)  and I don't recall ever hearing of any issues.

musicsooths's picture

musicsooths

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 I don't see a problem with the national anthem I sing it at events why not at school.

killer_rabbit79's picture

killer_rabbit79

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I never had a problem with the national anthem. If they are talking it out for religious reasons, then it's probably because of the lines, "God keep our land, glorious and free". I don't have a problem with it though, since our country was founded as a Christian nation so it's a part of our history. It's not like it's flaunting Christianity or offending other religions and the nonreligious.

pommum's picture

pommum

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People sometimes ridicule Americans for their impassioned patriotism, but I believe most Canadians are not patriotic enough, and the place to start is in the schools. These children live in Canada and I can't imagine why parents would object to singing the natioan anthem. If specific parents have a problem with this, I guess their children could be exempt, but it should not be forced on the entire school population.

Freundly-Giant's picture

Freundly-Giant

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I don't think any of the students at these schools are going to miss it. The Anthem, in my opinion, has become just another school time chore. Being forced into patriotism is something six and seven year old kids may have trouble comprehending, and rarely sing it with the intention of declaring their pride for their country. This attitude is often caried with them throughout there schooling careers, and i think that if they take the anthem out of schools, it will drive younger people to seek out what the song really means.

Lena138370's picture

Lena138370

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There is the Apology, done by at least one alternative school in Toronto, said after the playing of the anthem:

Apologies to atheists, agnostics, pacifists, First Nations, women, children, and anyone else offended or ommitted by the national anthem.

Lena138370's picture

Lena138370

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And the ever-used:

 

Oh Canada

Our home on Native land...

 

These are the main issues with the anthem, I think-- the disregard for the rich and varied history and demographic we possess.

retiredrev's picture

retiredrev

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Compromise.  Keep it, but sing it only in French.

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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Greetings!

 

I'm fine with having O Canada sung in school . . . those who choose not to participate shouldn't have to.  It would be interesting to know what the reasoning was behind the parent's concerns.

 

I don't attend many public sporting games, but do they still play O Canada at hockey games - both NHL and other leagues?

 

Hope, peace, joy, love . . .

cjms's picture

cjms

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Beloved wrote:

 

I don't attend many public sporting games, but do they still play O Canada at hockey games - both NHL and other leagues?

 

Hope, peace, joy, love . . .

 

Yes; they still do and generally people stand there not singing.  That was my point up-thread.  Why all the fuss about making kids sing it when most adults can't be bothered?...cms

BethanyK's picture

BethanyK

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Much as I didn't really feel like standing up everymorning to sing O'Canada at school I wouldn't have them stop playing it. I wouldn't force anyone to sing to it or anything but it's part of our country and where else are kids going to learn it.

 

To the playing it before sports events and most people just standing there ca.youtube.com/watch

kaye's picture

kaye

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We used to sing it in 3 different languages.  English, French, and Miq mak. 

I didn't have a problem with it.

 

ShamanWolf's picture

ShamanWolf

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 Well, it's a crappy song. 

I know I'm going to piss a ton of people off here - but I'm not being disrespectful to Canada or anything.  I'm not saying Canada is a bad country.  Canada is an awesome country.  In fact, it's so good it deserves a better song.  The lyrics are pretty bland, same goes for the melody.  Replace it with 'Land of the Silver Birch' or the Arrogant Worms' 'Proud to be Canadian' and maybe it wouldn't be a problem.

On the other hand, if this is about people not being 'included', come on.  It's not like it includes white people either.  It doesn't talk about who's here much at all - everyone's skipped equally on that issue.  It just says, while you're here, be patriotic.  Something shouldn't be offensive just because it's not explicitly about multiculturalism.

 

pommum: Actually, I think some polls found that Canada is one of the most self-righteously patriotic countries in the world, up there with the U.S.  We're just not militaristic about it so no-one notices.

RevJamesMurray's picture

RevJamesMurray

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Yes, let's sing it in French. I am sure

Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!

will be so much less objectionable than the English lyrics

(For your arm knows how to carry the sword, so it will know how to carry the cross)

So when does political correctness get to override national institutions? This is on a par with Carleton University Student Union's ill-fated decision to not support Cystic Fybrosis because it was not an 'inclusive illness'.

Lena138370's picture

Lena138370

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I guess I have an issue with being self-righteously patriotic, and that is why I don't like the anthem. In no way is it at all special to me, and it just embarrasses me more than anything. "With glowing hearts we see thee rise"...? I especially love the "God keep our land glorious" bit. The French lyrics are somewhat more tolerable, but are still not what they could be.

I think Land of the Silver Birch would make a beautiful and perhaps even meaningful anthem (although I only know the first verse off hand). I am sure, however, there are people who find O Canada meaningful, like the girls in the story, who said it reminded them of overseas Canadian troops, and that a lot of people would feel as unconnected towards Land of the Silver Birch as I do to O Canada.

I am not even sure where the need for an anthem comes from... does anyone know?

RevJamesMurray's picture

RevJamesMurray

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Then of course there are Montreal Canadiens fans who sing a split version of O Canada, with the French part first, and and ending in English. After so many years of that version, I am rusty with the early lines in English!

JoeAnne10's picture

JoeAnne10

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I don't find this a really good idea to be honest. I think kids thould be tought the sing other kind of songs not O Canada and stuff like this.I recently donated to a school some silicone wristbands with every children's name on it and this is a good thing not to teach them some communists songs.

graeme's picture

graeme

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The issue blew up in New Brunswick, and he debate was impassioned. Most of it was a crock.

1. Children learn nothing from singing the anthem every day. For over a hundred years kids have been singing it daily. And you know what? Pollls show that most Canadians can't get through the first verse. In fact, they can't get through the first line. To all the zealots who think it's so beneficial and important for kids to sing O Canada every day, I suggest this. You set an example. Demand that your company insist on everybody starting the day with a chorus of O Canada. Let me know what the boss and the rest of the staff say.

You're self employed? You're a stay at home parent? Even better. You make it a point to gather the family every motning after they get up for a chorus. Heys, if it's good for kids to sing it at school, it will be twice as good if they get it at  home, too.

2. I don't know the slightest evidence that singing the national anthem until you're blue in the face has the slightest effect in making anybody patriotic. Americans sing it just about every time they go to the bathroom. But they have just completed 16 years of two presidents who were draft dodgers. Army recruitment is such a disaster that almost half of the American fighting army is, in fact, made up of mercenaries - hired thugs.

I have been in many a classroom as kids go through the dreary and even embarassing moments of singing O Canada. Everybody stands up because they damn well have to, and for no other reason. Then they listen to a dreadful recording, and gratefully sit down.

Patriotism, real patriotism, comes from knowing something about your country and your role in it. It comes from learning what your country has accomplished, and thinking of what you can accomplish as part of it.

it does not come from incoherent babble about the true north strong and free.

If you want to make the anthem meaningful, then don't turn it into a drudge routine. Save it for special occasions. Then put some effort into it, and do it properly.

In New Brunswick, a bunch of yahoo parents got their knickers all in a twist over this, and the minster of education whose lack of guts and integrity and brains make me ashamed to be a Canadian supported them.

If singing O Canada made that cringing lout what he is, I would avoid it like the plague.

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