TORONTO – The Canadian national anthem has had a rough 24 hours at the hockey rink.
First, it endured an unexpected makeover before Wednesday night’s game between the Winnipeg Jets and New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
American anthem singer Jill Schackner changed some of the words to “O Canada,” replacing the line “We stand on guard for thee” with “God sheds his grace on thee,” a line from “America the Beautiful.” The lyrics to “O Canada” were prominently displayed on the Nassau Coliseum scoreboard at the time.
Shackner was apologetic for the flub, tweeting “Hey Canadians! So sorry that I accidentally changed some words in your national anthem tonight. It was truly an honest mistake, promise.”
Then on Thursday, a singer failed to hold the tune at the Subway Super Series in Lethbridge, Alta. The botched rendition had players chuckling and eyes rolling in the crowd. The singer was cheered when the anthem mercifully ended.
It’s certainly not the first time the Canadian anthem has been messed up by an American singer before a sporting event. In a recent example singer Jeff Fuller managed to mangle both the Canadian and American anthems before a Toronto Blue Jays exhibition game this spring.
But Canadians are far from blameless in the area of anthem butchery. Canadian singer Alexis Normand made headlines for her rendition of the American national anthem before a game between Halifax and Portland at the 2013 Memorial Cup. Normand forgot the words and had to be saved by the crowd.