Friday, November 4, 2011

When Forever is Only Temporary: The Maple Leaf For Ever

The original The Maple Leaf For Ever song was composed by Alexander Muir in October 1867.  The song became somewhat of an unofficial anthem of English Canadians until the mid 20th Century, children were taught the song in schools and it was almost as popular as O'Canada.  The original lyrics to the song included many references to Canada's origins and its ties to Britain, but included little reference to France or Canada's francophone population.

In 1997, the CBC radio show Metro Morning ran a contest to find more commentary/politically correct lyrics to the song.  The contest was won Vladimir Radian, his version of the song removes the majority of the references to colonialism and acknowledges the existence of French Canadians. Since Radian's version of the song debuted other Canadian singers such as Anne Murray and Michael Bubl√© have sang the revised lyrics at public events (eg. the Olympics).

It's interesting to see how the original lyrics have changed so drastically in the revised version of the song. I'm undecided if the new lyrics remove the original context of the song or merely revise it for a new generation.  I would be interested to hear other opinions on the matter. 

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