It’s July 1st

Once upon a time, a friend (let’s call her AB) was visiting me in the USA! over a break from university. In the holiday spirit, we attended a Madrigals dinner at my old high school. There was singing between courses, and it was all very medieval and costume-y and fun.

Before being served the dinner course, each table had to send a representative to conduct some sort of trick for the amusement of the presiding queen, KP. Some people juggled, one told a joke, another did a hand stand.

AB and I volunteered for our table. We decided to do something no one else in the room would think to do. We went up in front of this crowd of about 200 (US) Americans, and we sang 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.

Then the thunderous applause started, and our table was served dinner.

There’s just one little catch, which astute Canadian readers will have noticed… We had paused for a breath at a convenient gap in the lyrics, but that wasn’t actually the end of the song. It continued:

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Plus, we were going to sing it again in French.

But after all the clapping, it would have been really awkward to keep going. So we sat down. But AB was not happy about the (US) American ignorance she saw that night. I’m not sure she ever forgave me or my fellow (US) Americans.

PS Today is also known as Canada Day, previously Dominion Day, and a day to reflect on colonization.

Or, for America-land, just time to keep on clappin’ people off the stage.

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3 Responses to It’s July 1st

  1. Judith Hazlett says:

    Although the point is well-put, and the insight rings strangely of truth, I do think that you and AB are both a little harsh. I mean, it’s not as if they booed you off the stage. In fact, they did the opposite. They just didn’t realize that the anthem had ended. No big deal. I personally couldn’t tell you very much about the American national anthem, and I probably wouldn’t cheer either. The incident demonstrates one of the traits most cited as specific to the U.S.A. — friendliness. To a fault.

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