Is it coincidence that Tony Atherton of the Ottawa Citizen has been working on a story he calls "The Referanthem"? The idea is born of two great Canadian traditions: tongue-in-cheek humour (or is it passive-aggressive media manipulation?) and the need to ask everybody in the country what they think.The concept is that the Canadian Nathional Anthem, O Canada, was a rush job. Maybe it should be replaced with something that a) has more appeal, b) has a melody that doesn't require opera training to sing, and c) has lyrics that everybody in Canada(read: Ottawa Citizen subscribers) can relate to. Kevin Sylvester on the CBC did a segment on the Referanthem, and took the time to play out some of the proposed alternatives, from the Brittanic majesty of "Maple Leaf Forever" to that nauseating (in my view) "CAAAAAH-NUHHHH-DUHHHH" song from the '67 Olympics. "Log Driver's Waltz"... I enjoyed seeing that clip again. I'm sure the Americans have their log-drivers as well, but the NFB definitely put their stamp on that one.For Canada's national anthem, if I did have the temerity and the political will to dump O Canada into the gutter, I would humbly and predictably suggest the great "Hockey Night In Canada" theme by Dolores Claman. Even the Ottawa Citizen readership knows all the words to that one, Habs fans too!
"Hockey Night in Canada" has words? I thought it was strictly an instrumental. As all my friends know, I'm no hockey fan, but I have to admit the piece is excellent, very stirring. It has a sort of "watch out, here we come" vibe to it. Hey, it's CanadaHey, it's CanadaHey, it's Canada, hey!We're all CanadianWe like Canadian BaconWe have beavers and InuitLoggers and Iqualit, yeah!Universal health carePoutine and grizzly be-arsWe like to remember Vimy RidgeAnd make grilled cheese sandwiches, yeah!We're all Canadian hereThere's nothing to fe-arFor all Canadian denizensAre good global citizens, hey!(Or at least we're trying)It's no fun to watch dyingSo we send some peacekeepers outThen come home and fish trout, hey!etc.
Personally, I like Oh Canada by Five Iron Frenzy."They've got mooses and sled dogs, lots of lumber and lumberjacks and logs.Don't you think it's kind of a drag that you have to go there to get milk in a bag."If I weren't so lazy.... um... busy. Yes, productively busy... if I weren't so busy, I would look up the whole song.
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