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Dana Asher stands with the Canadian flag
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06/11/01 - Vancouver Sun


Dana Asher, a 23-year-old education student at Simon Fraser University, has a modest suggestion. At precisely 12 noon (Vancouver time, 3:30p.. in Newfoundland) on July 1, Canada Day, she wants every Canadian to stand up and sing our national anthem.

That's right, a chorus of 30 million voices singing O Canada.

Dana, a resident of Maple Ridge, doesn't care if you have a strong singing voice. She admits she's no Celine Dion herself. She doesn't even mind if you don't know all the words. (The lyrics were adjusted slightly when O Canada was officially declared our anthem in 1980 and some of us have since been humming the anthem at hockey games and school assemblies.) The point is, she says, to take the time to acknowledge what a great country this is and to let the world know we know it.

As Dana put it in an e-mail to City Limits:

"I am very proud to be Canadian and I am equally worried and disturbed at the lack of this pride throughout Canada. Plainly said, we need more national pride. I figured how better to show our pride to the world, or at least to each other, than to all come together at one time and celebrate our country by singing our national anthem. If you just think about this for a minute, if this works, it will be absolutely amazing!!! The whole country, how many is that? Like 30 million of something. All at the same time. The United States would be able to hear us! I'm thinking that radio stations could play the music for us to sing to, and newspapers can put a clip-out seciton in their papers with the words, for those who are not sure of them. Any language will do, just as long as everyone is singing the same song. There can be a countdown in each time zone, either via radio or the TV. We all stop and have a moment of silence for Remembrance Day, what's a couple of minutes on our nation's birthday?"

Great idea, Dana. Now how's it go again?

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.
Ô Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

(O Canada was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which the official English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committe of the Senate and House of Commons. The French lyrics remain unaltered.)

© 2001 Vancouver Sun

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