Should the Lyrics to O Canada be changed?


The Restore Our Anthem1 movement is pushing to change the lyrics of O Canada from "In all thy sons command" to "In all of us command"

This movement includes several prominent Canadians including former Prime Minister Kim Campbell and author Margaret Atwood.


The Lyrics Should Not Be Changed

The Lyrics Should Be Changed


Gender Neutrality

Although there is some gender bias in the existing lyrics, its influence has been exaggerated.  Any bias in the lyrics that is affecting the outlook of children can be used as a teaching point about Canadian history and how far we have come. 


Gender Neutrality

Half of all Canadians are currently excluded from the national anthem, because the lyric "thy sons" only includes the male half of the population1.  The change to "in all of us command" would allow gender neutrality with a very quick and easy fix.  Without the change, girls singing the anthem in our schools are learning that they are not included or valued in terms of our national identity.


Some things shouldn't be changed and national anthem lyrics are one of them.  Their unchanging status connects the present with the past in the best way of traditional continuity.  Changing the lyrics to O Canada would be paramount to ignoring Canadian history.


The lyrics to O Canada have already been changed.  The original version was written in 1908 and was gender neutral with the lyrics "True patriot love thou dost in us command" and the lyrics were changed in to their current version in 1913.1  This proposed change is a return to the spirit of the original lyrics.

Public Opinion

Public Opinion is against changing the lyrics, according to a forum research poll completed in Toronto where 65% of those asked favored keeping the exiting lyrics.  Only 25% supported the change, with the remaining 10% being undecided.3  It would be undemocratic to change the lyrics with this amount of opposition.

Public Opinion

Public Opinion will change as Canadians continue to be educated about the issue.  The movement is in early phases and many Canadians are unaware of the history and arguments for change.

Cost to Canadians

The lyrics to the National Anthem are written in many places.  No financial analysis has been completed which would analyze the cost to Canadians of changing the lyrics and updating all relevant materials and displays.

Cost to Canadians

The update to written materials can be done slowly, and once the lyrics have changed owners of books/displays can do their own review of whether it is worth the cost to update their materials.



Other lyric changes have been suggested, but this article focuses only on the specific change suggested by the Restore our Anthem movement.


O Canada Lyrics

Should the Lyrics of O Canada be changed?



The lyrics should be changed from "thy sons" to "of us"


The old lyrics should be kept.


1 Votes left

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1.     Restore Our Anthem

2.     CBC News: Group seeks to make O Canada's English Lyrics Gender Neutral

3.     The Star: Most Canadian's don't want 'O Canada' lyrics changed

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