O Canada: Council tries unconventional version of anthem

Well, we played a new version of O Canada Monday night and council chambers didn’t come crashing down all around us.

It was a unique, up-tempo version and some parts were tricky to sing first time through — especially the passage in French. My daughter and wife are bilingual, but, me, I’m not so lucky. 😊

We played the live version that Burlington band Walk Off The Earth played at the World Cup of Hockey finals in Toronto in 2016. It is bilingual and features updated lyrics, not to mention female and male voices and unconventional instruments including a ukulele and a melodica. Big finish, too.

Resident Marcie Graham emailed councillors suggesting we switch things up and ditch “the dirge” we had been using to open our council meetings. I thought it was a great idea that would be fun to explore when we weren’t poring over budget documents or agendas.

I volunteered to try and find something along with Marcie, fellow councillor Patricia Simone and Clerk Paula Parker.

It’s not as easy as you think to find a catchy version of O Canada that checks all the right boxes. We have some ideas to line up a home-grown version but we wanted to try this hip version tonight for a change of pace and just to move on down the road.

We are blessed to live free in a beautiful, diverse country like Canada and this upbeat version, with its fun, folk-music feel, sounded great in Council chambers. I know I sang a little bit louder than I usually do.

Nothing is carved in soapstone, though, so shoot me an email if there’s a version you’d like to hear and we’ll keep trying to line up something more local for the longer term.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, Canada won that game 2-1 to sweep the series!

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