On Canada Day, although it's not really mine, I can belt out O Canada with the best of them. As a Commonwealth anthem goes, though, it's astonishingly straightforward and short. I started wondering who might win the face-off of musical self-love among O Canada, God Defend New Zealand, and Advance Australia Fair. And here are my findings.
NZ: Ae, bro
Australia: Yeah, right!
Canada: One verse is seriously all they could think of?
NZ: 5 verses
Australia: Your standard 5 again.
Mention of God?
Canada: We stand on guard for thee. Twice.
NZ: Apparently, “peace, not war, shall be our boast”. Encouraging.
Australia: Not until about verse four, when the ‘foreign foes’ arrive.
Canada: True patriot love only required from ‘all thy sons’.
NZ: Men of every creed and race. No gurlz allowd.
Australia: I almost *died of shock*, because it’s not in there until verse five, when the ‘sons’ arrive.
Canada: Vague at best. The True North is about as specific as it gets, see also knowing where you are on a map.
NZ: The mountains are ‘freedom’s ramparts’.
Australia: Do you want a list? Jeez, Australia. Calm down. Yes, you’re physically amazing. We get it.
Canada: ‘Glorious and free!!’
NZ: ‘Our country’s spotless name.’ And insufferable smugness.
Australia: ‘for we are young and free’, and better at cricket than you, so there.
Canada: Actually, without the necessity to fill five verses, this is pretty straightforward.
NZ: ‘Guide her in the nation’s van’?? Can someone check if I’ve got this wrong? What on earth?
Australia: ‘Rousing to arms like sires of yore’. I'd like to see that.
Canada: ‘We stand on guard for thee’, except on the world’s longest undefended border with XXXthat dangerous clownXXX our bestest friend.
NZ: ‘Make our praises heard afar.’ ‘Crown her with immortal fame’. Oh, NZ. Don’t you know how much of the world thinks you’re just a bit of Australia?
Australia: It says of Britain: “with all her faults we love her still”. Until the next referendum, that is.
Inexplicably, what it doesn’t mention
Canada: Hockey, double-doubles, and winter eight months a year.
NZ: Number 8 wire, L&P, and ‘sweet as, bro!’
Australia: The black stump, a thousand poisonous things that *keel you*, and, fortunately, Kevin Bloody Wilson (no link. I just can't).
The tears prick my eyelids when…
Canada: With glowing hearts we see thee rise, our True North strong and free.
NZ: Honestly? It’s too passive for that. It’s all up to God. The Canucks are ‘standing on guard’, the Aussies are ‘toiling’ with ‘courage’. Come on, NZ. Make an effort.
Australia: In joyful strains then let us sing…
Happy Canada Day. Keep your stick on the ice, eh?