Our Original, Glorious and Very Catholic Anthem

Canadian Red Ensign, our original flag (wikipedia.org)

A happy and grateful Canada Day to all our readers which I prefer to call Dominion Day, as signifying more fully our allegiance to our king – or, as we now have, queen – for Canada is, after all, a constitutional monarchy, and our leader is the Sovereign of Great Britain, with the Prime Minister governing at his, or her, bequest, via the Governor General. But, more to the point, a Dominion signifying our deeper allegiance to the ‘King of Kings, and Lord of Lords’, Iesus Christus Dominus Noster. 

Hence, the British anthem, I Vow to Thee, My Country, with music by Gustav Holst (1914-16), from his suite, The Planets, and the words a poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice, from 1908 or 1912, to show his own loyalty both to earth and to heaven:

And why don’t we also add the original version of O, Canada, which was written in French, in Quebec – Canada was French before she was also English – for the 1880 Saint Jean-Baptiste Day ceremony, commissioned by the Lieutenant-Governor, Théodore Robitaille, with music by Sir Rudolphe-Basile Routhier, and original French lyrics by Calixa Lavallée. Note, in those original lyrics, the militant Christian theme – note the almost-never-sung latter verses, of knowing how to bear the sword and carry the cross, with valour soaked by faith.

And here a century and a half on, Trudeau has mangled the English even worse with his 2018 ‘inclusive language’ version. The less said of that, the better. One wonders, in our iconoclastic milieu, how long the anthem will still be sung. But as long as it is so, I would recommend la langue française, which still stand as it stood in those glorious days of 1880, when Canada was truly north, strong and free, and we all should fight to keep her so: