O Canada

December 19, 2011 4:58 PM

And to close: you know it, you love it, we love it. That's why we did it properly. Please enjoy.

In the collective opinion of Demons of Gyrophonia, we have decided that O Canada is perhaps the greatest national anthem currently in use on the planet. It's not violent, or overly boastful; it's not aimed at a flag or a regent; it's simply an expression of patriotism in its truest form. It displays a love for country in a kind and courteous way that we tend to associate with the Canadian demeanor (except for Quebec). Even the chord structure and counterpoint is clever and well-crafted.

Well done, Canada.


This was done at the very end of the night. Between all the overdubbed takes of the three of us, it ends up totaling a 48-piece choir, divided into SATBB.

Trey Beauregard - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone
Timbill Corder - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
Tommy Scheurich - Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass

Text by Robert Stanley Weir, 1908.

posted by askmeaboutLOOM (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Yes, I'm not a native Canadian though I live here but I agree with you entirely about the anthem. It's really well constructed and it has that lovely little spine-chilling chromatic climax. It's always a fun tune to sing, especially for someone brought up on the mind-numbing dirge that is GOD SAVE THE QUEEN. (Land of Hope and Glory, though, that's a hell of a tune, Mr Elgar). And it doesn't hurt that you don't have to mumble the words.

Really good to hear you crazy guys playing it straight for once!
posted by unSane at 6:06 PM on December 19, 2011

I love it, you're right. Sounds great. Now do one with a brutal breakdown.
posted by Corduroy at 12:38 AM on December 20, 2011

Nicely done!
It is a great anthem, isn't it? In order to make it more Canadian though, you need to sing the token French verse. And change the lyrics every couple of years.

One preference I have, when the song is performed, is for the second-last "we stand on guard for thee" to have that different chord which leads you into the final line.

So you guys are singing the version where the second-last line is (basically):
D# G  G#             D#     A# D#
O Canada we stand on guard for thee
whereas the same line with the "thee" going to a G chord, like so, and hanging there,
D# G  G#             D#     A# G
O Canada we stand on guard for thee
sets things up nicely for that final, triumphantly climbing line.

Awesome work!
posted by chococat at 7:29 AM on December 20, 2011

That is definitely a non-standard harmony Chococat, but it's really nice because it postpones the resolution to the tonic until the very end instead of giving you a cadence at the end of the line before.

There harmonization of the standard version is really nice though, bunch of relative minors where you don't necessarily expect them.
posted by unSane at 9:29 AM on December 20, 2011

48 pieces?!?! My hat is off to you for sheer dedication! On top of that, it sounds really good!
posted by audiodidactic at 4:15 AM on December 21, 2011

you need to sing the token French verse

French verse 1 is the original, and the best. The climax is "protect our freedoms and our rights." Most anthems are all about how citizens have a duty to fight for the country; F1 emphasizes the duties of the country to its citizens, a sentiment lost in the English version.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:18 PM on January 4, 2012

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