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Who wrote the national anthem of Canada?

The national anthem of Canada, “O Canada,” holds immense significance as a symbol of Canadian identity and pride. This article aims to explore the origins of the anthem and shed light on the individuals responsible for its creation.

The National Anthem of Canada: “O Canada”

“O Canada” is a patriotic hymn that has become synonymous with Canadian nationalism. Its stirring melody and inspiring lyrics have captivated generations of Canadians. Understanding the history and authorship of this iconic anthem allows us to appreciate its cultural importance.

The Composer: Calixa Lavallée

The musical genius behind “O Canada” is Calixa Lavallée, a talented composer and conductor. Lavallée’s journey in the world of music began in his early years, and his passion and dedication propelled him to great heights. It was during one particular moment of inspiration that he created the unforgettable melody that would come to define the national anthem.

The Lyrics: Adolphe-Basile Routhier and Robert Stanley Weir

While Lavallée crafted the music, the lyrics of “O Canada” were the result of collaboration between two individuals: Adolphe-Basile Routhier and Robert Stanley Weir. Routhier and Weir were accomplished writers who sought to create lyrics that captured the essence of Canadian values and aspirations. Through their words, they aimed to evoke a sense of patriotism and love for their country.

Adoption as the National Anthem

After its creation, “O Canada” gained recognition and began to resonate with Canadians across the country. Eventually, it was officially adopted as the national anthem of Canada. Over the years, the anthem underwent amendments and changes to better reflect the evolving spirit of the nation.

Significance and Cultural Impact

“O Canada” holds great significance in Canadian culture. Its performance at official events and gatherings ignites feelings of national pride and unity. The anthem serves as a powerful symbol of Canada’s values and heritage, reinforcing the sense of belonging for its citizens.

Controversies and Debates

As with any significant national symbol, “O Canada” has not been immune to controversies and debates. Issues such as bilingualism and the inclusion of certain phrases have sparked discussions on inclusivity and representation within the anthem. Alternative proposals have also emerged, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of Canadian society.

International Recognition

“O Canada” has transcended national boundaries and has been performed at numerous international events. Its inspiring melody and meaningful lyrics have inspired other nations and influenced the creation of their own national anthems.


“O Canada” stands as a testament to the creative genius of its composer, Calixa Lavallée, and the poetic talent of its lyricists, Adolphe-Basile Routhier and Robert Stanley Weir. This anthem has become an integral part of Canadian identity, evoking a sense of pride and unity among its citizens.


1. When was “O Canada” officially adopted as the national anthem of Canada? “O Canada” was officially adopted as the national anthem of Canada on July 1, 1980.

2. Can you provide the lyrics of “O Canada” in English and French? Certainly! Here are the lyrics in English:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

3. What is the significance of the phrase “True patriot love in all thy sons command” in the anthem? The phrase “True patriot love in all thy sons command” reflects the historical context in which the anthem’s lyrics were written. Over time, there have been discussions about updating this line to make it more gender-inclusive.

4. Has “O Canada” always been bilingual? No, “O Canada” was originally written in French and later translated into English. The bilingual version of the anthem is now commonly performed at official events to represent Canada’s linguistic duality.

5. Are there any other notable compositions by Calixa Lavallée? Calixa Lavallée composed various other musical works, including operas, orchestral pieces, and chamber music. However, “O Canada” remains his most renowned and enduring composition.

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