Before the 1980 Act of Parliament which made O Canada the national anthem of Canada, the anthem was functionally God Save the Queen, but there was another patriotic song which served as the unofficial anthem: The Maple Leaf Forever. The song was written by poet Alexander Muir in October of 1867 to celebrate the confederation of Canada in July of that year and was famously inspired by a silver maple which stood in his front yard on Laing St in Toronto. Last night's storms brought the tree down, after a century and a half. [more inside]
Montreal-born actor William Shatner, 80, sings the National Anthem of Canada to show his appreciation for getting a Lifetime Achievement Award from Canada's Governor General, the greatest honour given to artists in the country (and yeah, in fact it comes with some cash).
Something awful in a new CBC anthem. The CBC's Hockey Night in Canada is one of the highest-rated programs on Canadian television. It's something of a national shrine to our beloved sport. For the past 40-odd years, it's had a distinctive theme which most Canadians could hum. After something of a fiasco, the CBC lost the rights to the theme. They're running a contest to replace the venerated theme. A Something Awful forum user composed a truly dreadful entry ("mostly comprised of cat and sheep sounds, baby cries, and gunshots/explosions"), and got the community to 'vote it up' on the Anthem contest site. You really need to hear the awfulness to truly appreciate it. [more inside]
What happened to sportsmanlike behaviour in hockey? Islander fans booed the Canadian national anthem hours after a memorial service for the Canuck soldiers who died at American hands. Fine, whatever, that type of behaviour is expected. They also harrassed Toronto fans in the parking lot outside the rink, including stealing their flags and setting the Maple Leaf ablaze. Now if this was Canadians burning the American flag...