Stephen Harper needs your help - Macleans.ca
 

Stephen Harper needs your help


 

Memo from The Prime Minister of Canada

I’m pandering, okay? Pandering to seniors. To women. Pandering to any group that might be able to put me over the top next time. As you all saw in the Throne Speech, I’ve given up any pretense of ideological purity, cohesive thinking or brevity.

That’s what motivated the anthem thing. But there’s a problem. Once you start fiddling with this damn song, you see how its words can be perceived to offend others: Immigrants, agnostics, atheists, pacifists, paraplegics, people who think “True patriot love” sounds kind of swishy (ie. Kenney), etc. etc.

What I need is a national anthem that doesn’t offend anybody. I’ve been up all night. Here’s what I came up with. Looking for suggestions…

O Canada

Country called Canada

Place where we live

Above the USA

Ten provinces, three more up north, known as territories

Our top export, in fiscal terms, is oil not manatees

Let’s keep this land

Zombie-less and nice

O Canada, we legally reside within your internationally recognized borders  [Note: we’ll need to sing faster here]

O Canada, although in fairness our claims in the Arctic remain the subject of ongoing circumpolar dispute!

I know, I know – it’s not going to fly with the walking undead. But I guess you can’t please everyone.


 

Stephen Harper needs your help

  1. Sorry, can't use the "internationally recognized borders" – there are disputes over the arctic you know. How about;

    O Canada, we really love our troops.
    Troops troops troops troops
    Troops troops troops troops troops troops

    I should point out
    that love is not
    the John Baird kind of love

    But the manly stuff
    That manly men have
    And the women's hockey team too…

  2. "Above the USA"

    Hold it right there. First, you're offending all the anti-anti-Americans. They've already had it up to here with your holier-than-America attitude, Feschuk, and now you spit in their face. Try being inclusive next time, you outcast. Also, Australian-Canadians — and where would our speeches be without the Australian-Canadian speechwriting community, to take one example among many? "Above" is only correct if you orient North at the top of the map, a discredited practice that reeks of Northern chauvinism. So you can take your "Above the USA" creap and stick it up your barby.

    • Also we are below and mostly to the right of Palin land and nowhere near the Aloha State (although we may be willing to move).

      • Hold on. "Mostly to the right"?? If you're not anti-Australian (see above), and you're looking at the world the right side up, we're mostly to the left of Palin land – I'm talking geographically, here.

        • It is good that you are not showing your face (or perhaps you just have a really bland expression, no hair and have your eyes shut) In any case, you are well on your way to becoming a Douche-Begg Smith. At this point, all good Canadians hate Australians just as we know that Coyne twirls and spins.

          http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/02/18/olympic-mailba

          • Adn what about people in Windsor, Ontario, who live south of the US? What about them, eh?

          • Is that your real face?

    • Yeah, like this just doesn't scream conflict of interest Jack.

      You're shameless. Truly shameless.

      :)

    • Hey! Wait a minute! You really must turn the map around or Upper Canada and Lower Canada don't make any sense. So the States is really Above Upper Canada. After all, if we're going back to "dost" why not go all the way back? New France, anyone?

      • LOL, I think you're making the same mistake vis a vis Upper and Lower Canada as Stockwell Day did with "Which way does the Niagara river flow?". Upper and Lower Canada make perfect sense if you know what the Upper and Lower refers to.

        • It's curious how maps govern our sense of spatial relationships these days, as opposed to physical geography. For years I've been trying to train myself to say I'm going "down to Ottawa" from Toronto and vice versa, but I can't seem to manage it, try as I will.

    • I think above the USA is a geographic reference, which is hard to argue if you look at a map.

  3. We should go with an interim anthem until a royal commission on anthem renewal can be struck to look into this important national issue. Note to prospective conservative hacks looking for royal commission jobs: Your salary will be frozen at $150K/year plus expenses. I recommend Feschuk, he is good with the words eh.

    In the spirit of newly discovered patriotism…

    O Canada
    A nice place to live
    Maybe too much snow
    We're sorry about that

    We're on an Olympic high
    We kicked some Yankee ass
    In hockey we reign supreme
    Where the hell are Crosby's gloves?

    Roll up the rim
    I'm glad I am not gay
    So I can be friends with Jason Kenney
    O Canada
    We hoist a cold one to thee.

    Cue the applause like at the hockey game.

  4. Mr. Harper has only one goal indicated by the throne speech. Distract, distract, distract! We can only hope that Canadians wise up and demand attention to the most important matters at hand in this severe economic time period. To do otherwise, we endanger our country's future.

  5. Changing the lyrics back to the original on the grounds that it stays truer to the spirit of the song? Sure, why not.

    Changing the lyrics to make it more gender-sensitive? Please. Just because I have lady-parts doesn't mean I don't have a brain. Tokenism does nothing of substance to improve the status of women in this country. Talk to me when you've got a real policy idea, team Harper.

    • Bravo!!

  6. Really, it is time to adopt "Closer To The Heart" by Rush as our national anthem:

    And the men who hold high places
    Must be the ones who start
    To mold a new reality
    Closer to the heart
    Closer to the heart

    The blacksmith and the artist
    Reflect it in their art
    They forge their creativity
    Closer to the heart
    Closer to the heart

    Philosophers and ploughmen
    Each must know his part
    To sow a new mentality
    Closer to the heart
    Closer to the heart

    You can be the captain
    I will draw the chart
    Sailing into destiny
    Closer to the heart

    • That might be worth it just for the sight of hockey fans fainting en masse from lack of oxygen as they try to mimic Geddy Lee

  7. He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political carreer.
    George Bernard Shaw.

    Like I commented on another post: what a waste of time and energy, all that hooplah about our National Anthem. Leave it be and let's tackle the real problems at hand. Because, as far as I'm concerned, national anthems, any national anthem, are but pompous songs, and our own O Canada, well, you could sing in Chinese for all I care.

  8. Well that certianly does pander far and wide. I myself refuse to pander and offer this…

    Oh Canada,
    Our hockey playing land
    true stickhandling love, none of us withstand.
    With beating heart and iron thighs
    Our keeper's an oak tree!
    From goal to goal, O Canada
    We skate and shoot for thee
    God help our team, with a scoring spree
    O Canada we skate and shoot for thee
    O Canada we skate and shoot for thee

    Note: I was torn between "True stickhandling love" and "True Puckbunny love." I'd be happy with either though.

    • I love all of these variations.

      May I suggest; "O Canada! We shoot and score for thee!"

      • Damn it!!!!!! How did I miss something so obvious? Suggestion accepted!

        • Actually, just trying out the lyrics live…

          "Oh, Canada! We shoot! We score for thee!"

          Scans better. More punch too. 'Punch'. Yeah. Good hockey reference. 'Shoot'. Covers the trop support too.

          • Oooo — but if we go "We skate and score for thee" then we will have that lovely extra alliteration, and also recognize figure and speed skaters (and dancers). Although 'shoot' keeps gun lovers happy too…

          • Yes, that line would remain in the verse.

  9. Could we just urbanize the anthem for today's high-tech yout's?

    O Canada
    Our home and <record scratch> land
    True patriot love
    In all they <dub beats>c-c-c-command

  10. Better play safe…stick with one line…O Canada eh!…just hum the rest.

  11. Looks like Jack has some very serious competition.

    • I don't know how you can equate lyrics from such a flip-flop artist as Feschuk with our Jack's brilliant new lyrics.

      A Feschuk troll, masquerading as a non-Feschuk troll, that's all you are.

    • LoL! Great observation!
      However – I did not see an ink signature from Feschuk.
      Deny! Deny! Deny!

  12. I love living in a country where we can make so much fun out of our National Anthem.

    Thanks, you guys.

    • Except half the Canadian interwebs is freaking out. OMG They want to change the anthem!

  13. I can't believe you fell for this diversion. This is a non-starter and likely an appeasement from Harper to Olivia Chow. Should show Mr. Ignatieff that any and all ideas, no matter how screwy are on the table.
    Frankly I far prefer The Maple Leaf Forever to O'Canada any day!

    • Et Les Habs aussi!

  14. They got this idea from Pepsi, didn't they.

    Mark my words, this change will be no more successful in being embraced by the population than Pepsi's last lame attempt at stirring up patriotic fervor. You're as likely to hear someone sing "Thou dost in us command" in the future as you are to hear the "Eh, Oh, Canada Go" cheer at a hockey game not sponsored by Pepsi.

    I also fear that many Canadians will have the same reaction to this anthem change as we did to the Pepsi cheer – i.e., the overwhelming urge to THROTTLE anyone heard uttering it.

  15. Women got the vote in Canada in 1916 to 1925. Yea, let's turn back the national anthem to a non-gender specific, archaic turn of phrase when women weren't equal.

  16. Oh Canada
    our home on Native lands
    True patriot
    from all our immigrants command

  17. you know, with our great canadian sense of humour and understanding, and for sure we are never politically correct because that is way too boring!! — we need to leave it as is, it was written in a special moment of time and there it should stay.

  18. Want a Goldilocks/ Not to hard, not too soft National Anthem that won't offend anyone?
    How 'bout this?

    O Canada,
    Blah blah blah blah blah,
    Blah blah blah,
    Blah blah
    Blah blah blah blah!
    O Canada,
    Blah blah blah blah
    Blah blah blah
    Blah blah blah blah,
    Blah blah!

  19. There is nothing wrong with using the line "all our sons…" As a female I am not AT ALL offended by that and think it is ridiculous that this is even an issue. Who even cares?

    • Or even "all thy sons."

      My problem is more with the French and English not matching in what they're saying (although it can't be a big problem for me, because I only just found out about it).

  20. The National Anthem reflects our history. Leave it alone. This gender stuff it getting ridiculous. I told someone the other day that I really liked The Maple Leaf Forever – they had never heard of it. Now that is a darn shame!!!

  21. I agree with many that the rewriting of the national anthem is nothing more than a pointless distraction to draw public attention away from more urgent matters. Canada is a nation of many and to alter each verse to appease every individual would eventually take away the very spirit of the song. Instead of becoming a group of separatists Canada should be more of a family, working together for a common goal. There are challenges that take more than the individual, it takes a village, which is the very word that the name Canada came from. Leave the anthem as it is or for better or for worse we can always go back to the original anthem that existed 100 years before, “ O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux. . .”