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Location: North America
Capitol: Ottawa
Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W

Area total: 9,976,140 sq km
land: 9,220,970 sq km
water: 755,170 sq km
Border: total: 8,893 km
border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

Coastline: 243,791 km
Population: 31,902,268 (July 2002 est.)
Density of population: person/km sq
Nationality: noun: Canadian(s)
adjective: Canadian
Languages: English 59.3% (official), French 23.2% (official), other 17.5%
Ethnic groups: British Isles origin 28%, French origin 23%, other European 15%, Amerindian 2%, other, mostly Asian, African, Arab 6%, mixed background 26%
Religions: Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 36%, other 18%

Life expactancy at birth
total population: 79.69 years
male: 76.3 years
female: 83.25 years (2002 est.)
Currency: Canadian dollar (CAD)
Government: confederation with parliamentary democracy

National Anthem

"O Canada" is the national anthem of Canada.

The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée; he may have been inspired by the similar "March of the Priests" from Mozart's opera The Magic Flute (MIDI file).

The original French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe Basile Routhier, as a French-Canadian patriotic song for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society. The French "Ô Canada" was first performed on June 24, 1880 at a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day banquet in Quebec City, but did not become Canada's official national anthem until July 1, 1980. When it was made the official anthem, most English Canadians were surprised to learn that it did not already have such status.

Since 1867, "God Save the King" and "The Maple Leaf Forever" had been competing as unofficial national anthems in English Canada. "O Canada" joined that fray when school children sang it for the 1901 tour of Canada by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall (later King George V and Queen Mary). Five years later Whaley and Royce in Toronto published the music with the French text and a first translation into English by Dr. Thomas Bedford Richardson. Then, in 1908, Collier's Weekly magazine held a competition to write English lyrics for "O Canada" and all kinds of versions were submitted. The competition was won by Mercy E. Powell McCulloch, but her version did not take.

The English version that gained the widest currency was written in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir, a lawyer and at the time Recorder of the City of Montréal. A slightly modified version of his poem was published in an official form for the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927, and gradually became the most generally accepted anthem in English-speaking Canada, winning out over the alternatives by the 1960s. "God Save the Queen" is now Canada's royal anthem, while "The Maple Leaf Forever" is virtually forgotten.

Official changes to the English version were recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The National Anthem Act of 1980 added a religious reference to the English lyrics and the phrase "From far and wide, O Canada" to replace a repeated use of the phrase "We stand on guard". This change was controversial with traditionalists, and for several years afterwards it was not uncommon to hear people still singing the old lyrics at public events. By contrast, the French version never wavered from its original.


O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

N.B.: the line is true patriot love in all thy sons command, with no possessive apostrophe; otherwise put, "command (inspire) true patriot love in all thy sons". Also, the first word is "O" (used as a vocative, to apostrophize Canada), not the exclamation "oh".

The line "The True North strong and free" is based on Alfred Lord Tennyson's description of Canada as "That True North whereof we lately heard" [1]. In the context of Tennyson's poem, true means loyal or faithful.

Two provinces have adopted Latin translations of phrases from the English lyrics as their mottos: Manitoba —Gloriosus et liber (glorious and free)— and Alberta —Fortis et liber (strong and free). Similarly, the motto of Canadian Forces Land Force Command is Vigilamus pro te (we stand on guard for thee).

The original song has several additional verses, but these are rarely sung.

Original Poem by Weir
Originally "O Canada" was a patriotic poem by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, a Quebec judge. Calixa Lavallée, the well-known Canadian composer, was commissioned to set it to music, and it was first sung in 1880 during a national convention of French Canadians in Quebec City. Many English versions have appeared, but the one which was widely accepted was written in 1908 by another judge, R. Stanley Weir, in honour of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City. It was amended in 1913, 1914 and 1916 and published in an official form at the time of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation in 1927 and during the Royal visit of 1939. A slightly modified version of the first verse of Weir's, poem was proclaimed as Canada's national anthem in 1980. The original poem of 1908 by Stanley Weir reads as follows:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.
We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North, strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
O Canada! O Canada! etc.
O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
O Canada! O Canada! etc.
Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
O Canada! O Canada! etc.

Official French lyrics

Ô Canada ! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux !
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix;
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur de foi trempée
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits;
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Gloss of the French lyrics:

O Canada! Home of our ancestors,
Your brow is wreathed with glorious garlands!
Just as your arm knows how to wield the sword,
It also knows how to bear the cross;
Your history is an epic
Of the most brilliant feats.
And your valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights;
Will protect our homes and our rights.

Often, singers at public events mix the English and French lyrics in order to represent Canada's linguistic duality. The most common patterns are to sing the first two lines in English, the next four lines in French and the remainder in English, or to sing the first six lines in French and the remainder in English. Other patterns also exist.

Posted by airwolf09 16:24 Archived in Canada Tagged round_the_world

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