O Canada is the national anthem of Canada. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, and the original French lyrics were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. It was first performed on June 24, 1880 at a banquet in Quebec City, but did not become Canada's official national anthem until July 1, 1980. The official English version is based on a poem written by Robert Stanley Weir.
Official English Lyrics
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.
Official French Lyrics
O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, (O Canada! Land of our forefathers) Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux! (Thy brow is wreathed with a glorious garland of flowers.) Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, (As in thy arm ready to wield the sword,) Il sait porter la croix! (So also is it ready to carry the cross.) Ton histoire est une épopée (Thy history is an epic...) Des plus brillants exploits. (of the most brilliant exploits.) Et ta valeur, de foi trempée, (Thy valour steeped in faith) Protégera nos foyers et nos droits. (Will protect our homes and our rights.) Protégera nos foyers et nos droits. (Will protect our homes and our rights.)
In the past it was common to mix the lyrics across languages, switching from English to French after the second line, then back to English for the final two lines. However, this practice fell into disfavour after the constitutional wrangling of the late 1980s and early 90s and is now uncommon.
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