National Anthems In Haiku: Canada's Is Better

National Anthems In Haiku: Canada's Is Better

Saturday's Hawks game
Heard two national anthems
Best one? Canada

We were lucky enough to score some tickets to Saturday's game between the Blackhawks and the Canucks, although I'm not sure we felt lucky to be there given the poor play on the ice.

But, because the Canucks were in town, we did get to hear both the American and Canadian national anthems; I'm sorry to say, the Canadian anthem is better.  Granted, there is nothing like being part of the crowd at a Blackhawks game when Jim Cornelison sings the Star Spangled Banner (although like Tim over at Tales From Aisle 424, I think Wayne Messmer's rendition is the best you'll hear) but the Canadian song is simply superior as a patriotic anthem.

For those who (like me before Saturday night) don't know much beyond the first two words, here are the lyrics to the Canadian national anthem:

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.

Why is it better?
It's not a war song, for one
And easy to sing

Sure, a war anthem like the Star Spangled Banner might be appropriate in the context of the Blackhawks honoring soliders before and during their games.  But we can do better - and, please, not God Bless America.

"O Canada" is about patriotism, about pride for country, and even about hope that God cares about us - even if we don't ask for a blessing.  Our national anthem is about "bombs bursting in air" and some sort of big deal that "our flag was still there."  Hell, the entire song is really about the flag.  I hate to break it to the anti-flag-burning crowd, but the flag is just a piece of cloth. Those who hate us could burn all the flags they want, but that wouldn't change our country's values or lessen our pride or patriotism.  We need a song about America, not about war and flags.

My choice?  America The Beautiful.  Isn't it obvious?  Instead of "rockets red glare" and "bombs bursting in air" we get "purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain" and "brotherhood from sea to shining sea".   This song celebrates the beauty of our country and even invokes God for those who like that sort of thing, without the heavy handed religiosity of God Bless America.  If you don't think it's better than The Star Spangled Banner ...

Listen to Ray sing
"I love you America"
This should be our song

"... sweet America ... "


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