This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
A prominent and vocal group of women, including Margaret Atwood, is actively advocating to change the lyrics of national anthem “O Canada,” which they claim were gender-neutral 101 years ago. The campaign titled ‘Restore Our Anthem’ was initiated on Monday, aimed at getting rid of the line “in all thy sons command.”
The group mentioned in a press release that the anthem used to have the phrase “thou dost in us command” before 1913, though it was then changed for no apparent reason. The group advocates that the words read “in all of us command.” Other members of the group include Sally Goddard, i.e. mother of Nichola Goddard, who was the first female Canadian solider killed in combat. In the official press release, Sally Goddard stated that “I believe that restoring the anthem celebrates the role that all Canadians play in the modern era.” She added that “it would recognize the heroes, leaders, and teachers who have made Canada what it is today – regardless of their gender.”
Atwood claims that “the words ‘all thy sons command’ in the English national anthem suggests that only male loyalty is being invoked.” She added that “restoring these lyrics to gender-neutral is not only an easy fix to make our anthem inclusive for all Canadians, but it’s also long overdue.” Moreover, the group of women includes former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, retired senator and author Vivienne Poy, and Senator Nancy Ruth.