O Canada

Good Country, Bad Tune

            I’m Canadian, lived here my whole life, but I can’t remember the words to our national anthem. The lyrics aren’t forgotten, per se, just temporarily misplaced. I can mangle my way through the anthem at a hockey game— memory cued by the collective consciousness, confidence aided by Molson Canadian beer— but if unaccompanied, I’m lost. I take a shortcut at the prelude— “O Canada/ Our home and native land/ True patriot love/ in all Our Son’s command”— a left at the gas station near the scarecrow that resembles Don Cherry, to arrive circuitously at the conclusion, “O Canada, we stand on guard for thee”. I’m missing the middle. I know there’s something about glowing hearts, our free land (ironic given you must be a billionaire to own in Vancouver or Toronto), and maybe a part about Celine Dion, but I can’t string the words together without taking creative license.