CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 1 . . . . September 3, 2004
in the "My Canada Series" celebrating Canadian history,
Our Song traces the evolution of the Canadian national anthem.
The colourful, eye-catching cover, on which a small, multi-racial
choir is depicted singing the anthem on Parliament Hill, typifies
Canada's multicultural diversity. Following the sheet music for the
present-day version of the song, the remainder of the book is devoted
to the history of both the French and English versions of the anthem
which debuted in Québec City in 1880. It was not until 1980
that a committee, having read over 1,000 letters from Canadian citizens
regarding the anthem, suggested the changes that resulted in the official
The book is cleverly divided into two main parts, with double-page spreads providing both the English and French words to just a few lines of the song at a time as well as a 20-year time line. Alternate double-page spreads tell the story of the many people- and circumstances- whose poems eventually were turned into the anthem's lyrics in both official languages.
Delightful collage illustrations, with their cartoon-like figures, represent all areas of Canada. A common theme running throughout the book is the maple leaf which appears in embossed form in all of the backgrounds. The end papers show maps of Canada at two points in history- the first, in 1880, when the original version of O Canada was penned, and the second is of present-day Canada. This book provides a fun and lively way to learn about an interesting part of this country's history.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal
use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any
other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.