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"The Maple Leaf Forever" is a Canadian song written by Alexander Muir (1830–1906) in 1867, the year of Canadamarker's Confederation.

History

Muir was said to have been inspired to write this song by a large maple tree which stood on his property: Maple Cottage, a house at Memory Lane and Laing Street in Torontomarker. The song became quite popular in English Canada and for many years served as an unofficial national anthem. Because of its strongly British perspective it became unpopular amongst French Canadians, and this prevented it from ever becoming an official anthem, even though it was seriously considered for that role and was even used as a de facto anthem in many instances.

It has been asserted that Muir's words, however, while certainly pro-British, were not anti-French, and he revised the lyrics of the first verse to "Here may it wave, our boast, our pride, and join in love together / The Lily, Thistle, Shamrock, Rose, the Maple Leaf forever"; adding "Lily," a French symbol, to the list. According to other accounts, this was actually the original wording. Muir was attempting to express that under the Union Flag the British and French were united as Canadians.

"The Maple Leaf Forever" is also the authorized regimental march of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and The Royal Westminster Regiment.

The song makes reference to James Wolfe capturing Quebecmarker in 1759 during the Seven Years War and the Battle of Queenston Heightsmarker and Battle of Lundy's Lanemarker during the War of 1812.

Lyrics

In days of yore, from Britain's shore,

Wolfe, the dauntless hero, came

And planted firm Britannia's flag

On Canada's fair domain.

Here may it wave, our boast and pride

And, joined in love together,

The thistlemarker, shamrockmarker, rosemarker entwine

The Maple Leaf forever!

Chorus:

The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,

The Maple Leaf forever!

God save our Queen and Heaven bless

The Maple Leaf forever!

At Queenston Heightsmarker and Lundy's Lanemarker,

Our brave fathers, side by side,

For freedom, homes and loved ones dear,

Firmly stood and nobly died;

And those dear rights which they maintained,

We swear to yield them never!

Our watchword evermore shall be

"The Maple Leaf forever!"

Chorus

Our fair Dominion now extends

From Cape Racemarker to Nootka Soundmarker;

May peace forever be our lot,

And plenteous store abound:

And may those ties of love be ours

Which discord cannot sever,

And flourish green o'er freedom's home

The Maple Leaf forever!

Chorus

On merry Englandmarker's far famed land

May kind heaven sweetly smile,

God bless old Scotlandmarker evermore

and Irelandmarker's Em'rald Isle!

And swell the song both loud and long

Till rocks and forest quiver!

God save our Queen and Heaven bless

The Maple Leaf forever!

Chorus



Alternative lyrics

CBC Radio's Metro Morning show in Torontomarker ran a controversial contest to find new lyrics for the song in 1997. The contest was won by Romanianmarker immigrant, mathematician, and now a songwriter, actor and poet, Vladimir Radian, who came to Canada in the 1980s. This version received its first full orchestral treatment on June 27, 1997, at a concert by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The new version removed references to British colonialism and the Union Flag, but added a reference to Quebec's provincial symbol, the fleur-de-lis.

O, land of blue unending skies,

Mountains strong and sparkling snow,

A scent of freedom in the wind,

O'er the emerald fields below.

To thee we brought our hopes, our dreams,

For thee we stand together,

Our land of peace, where proudly flies,

The Maple Leaf forever.

Chorus:

Long may it wave, and grace our own,

Blue skies and stormy weather,

Within my heart, above my home,

The Maple Leaf forever!

From East and West, our heroes came,

Through icy fields and frozen bays,

Who conquered fear, and cold, and hate,

And their ancient wisdom says:

Protect the weak, defend your rights,

And build this land together,

Above which shine the Northern Lights,

And the Maple Leaf forever!

(Chorus)

Sur mers sauvages ou glaciers durs,

Tant d'héros se sont suivis,

En conquérant la peur, le froid,

Et les tempêtes de leurs vies.

Et tant de braves, rouges ou blancs,

Reposent ici ensemble,

De noble sang, de tant de neige,

Est née la feuille d'érable.

Refrain

De leurs exploits, de leurs travaux,

Et leur courage sublime,

Dans leurs vieux rêves réunis,

Puisons nouvelles racines.

Refrain Reprise

Sur nos montagnes, dans nos prairies,

À travers temps et sable,

Aimons toujours la fleur de lys,

Toujours, la feuille d'érable.

Oh, Maple Leaf, around the world,

You speak as you rise high above,

Of courage, peace and quiet strength,

Of the Canada I love.

Remind us all our union bound,

By ties we cannot sever,

Bright flag revered on every ground,

The Maple Leaf forever!

(Chorus)

Maple Leaf Gardens

During the final game of the Toronto Maple Leafs at their former home stadium, Maple Leaf Gardensmarker in Toronto, Anne Murray sang another version (modified from Radian's version) of the Maple Leaf Forever to the crowd:

O, land of blue unending skies,

Mountains strong and sparkling snow,

A scent of freedom in the wind,

O'er the emerald fields below.

To thee we brought our hopes, our dreams,

For thee we stand together,

Our land of peace, where proudly flies,

The Maple Leaf forever.

Chorus:

Long may it wave, and grace our own,

Blue skies and stormy weather,

Within my heart, above my home,

The Maple Leaf forever!

Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, last minute of play!

O, Maple Leaf around the world,

You speak as you rise high above,

Of courage, peace and quiet strength,

Of the Canada that I love.

Remind us all, our union bound

By ties we cannot sever,

Bright flag revered on every ground,

The Maple Leaf forever!

Chorus

In popular culture



See also

Music of Canada

References

External links




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