The gender-neutral version of “O Canada” was almost scuttled by Kurt Cobain. Wait–what?

The BBC has a great article on the fight to make “O Canada” gender-neutral.

If you’ve been following the story, you’ll know that there was great opposition in some quarters to remove that pesky “in all thy sons command” which was inserted during World War I.

Deep in the article (and thanks to Michael for pointing this out), someone complained about the proposed change to “all of us” on these grounds.

Occasionally these arguments descended into farce – like when one Senator saidpeople shouldn’t mess with tradition, but was found to have campaigned for Canada to drop the beaver as its national animal because it was “a dentally defective rat” that destroys tree plantations.

Another objector pointed out that the phrase “all of us” appeared in grunge singer Kurt Cobain’s suicide note. Did Canada really want to associate its national anthem with that?

Seriously, people?


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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