A note on the revised national anthem

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I don’t understand Senator MacDonald’s complaint about the grammar in the national anthem’s revised lyrics (“in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command”):

“The proper and only acceptable pronoun substitution for the phrase ‘All thy sons command’ is ‘All of our command,'” MacDonald said. “This is not opinion. This is fact.”

I don’t think so. The meaning of the verse that goes “O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command” is “O Canada, our home and native land, command true patriot love in all thy sons.” It’s a sentence. The revised lyrics beseech Canada to command true patriot love in “all of us”, which is a perfectly acceptable substitution; it is grammatically correct and it perfectly preserves the meaning of the original. MacDonald’s complaint only makes sense if there’s an apostrophe in the original (“sons'” instead of “sons”). It’s a good thing there isn’t one, because that really would be a grammatical disaster! “O Canada, our home and native land, true patriot love in all thy sons’/in all of our command” makes no sense as a sentence.

Bottom line, Senator MacDonald does not actually know the anthem he is ostensibly trying to save. This is not opinion. This is fact.

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