The Grade 4/5's are learning about the true stories behind our national anthem, "O Canada." They were shocked!
This is the person who wrote the melody for O Canada. His name is Calixa Lavallee. He was a composer but also an adventurer. The story goes that while at his Quebec home in St. Hyacinthe to give a concert in 1880, he was resting by the Yamaska waterfall when he heard the song in the pounding water. The melody swept throughout Canada and was played in music halls, theatres, churches, and various festivities, capturing the heart of many.
|Robert Stanley Weir|
See the song sung below with words from Weir's poem. This recording was from 1914!
Youtube: O Canada 1908 lyrics by Weir
In 1980, the 100th birthday of O Canada, there was yet again disagreement about the English words and they were altered yet again to what we sing today. The song officially became Canada's anthem in 1980 through the National Anthem Act.
To read more about the history and changes, check out this link.
Throughout Canada's history, there has been various important songs of the people of the land. Check out this compilation of the historical anthems of Canada and other countries and colonies that are now part of Canada.
Another interesting tidbit about our anthem is that it has a very similar resemblance to the "March of the Priests" from the opera the Magic Flute, composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Check this out!