Monday, 3 February 2014

National Hymn Updated: The Maple Leaf Forever

POST #22
PARODY-LYRICS
ORIGINAL SONG: "The Maple Leaf Forever", by Alexander Muir, 1867
PARODY COMPOSED: Giorgio Coniglio, September 2013
PHOTOS: from GoogleImages, several derived from the wonderful blogsite TorontoThenandNow

KEYWORDS: history, Canadian, classicsong

  The original song proposed Canada’s national symbol, and acted for decades as the unofficial anthem of (English) Canada; it was officially replaced in 1980 by “O Canada”. The old tree which had presumably inspired the original lyrics was destroyed by a storm in July 2013.
   As pointed out in the blog "City in the Trees", the version we sang long ago in school evoked a Canada that extended from Cape Race in the east to the Pacific. In fact, at the time Muir created the song, Newfoundland and British Columbia were separate colonies, and the new country had only 4 provinces.  
   Research into the song's historic underpinnings, as portrayed here, as well as personal experience, evolved into the nostalgic piece "Canadian Reunion" - see my post in December which shows the chords you will need to play this parody-song.





"Maple Cottage" Leslieville 















1867: A fragile line
















THE MAPLE LEAF FOREVER

  
(to the tune of A. Muir's "Maple Leaf Forever")


In days less pure, the clan named Muir brought young Alex to these shores;
He breathed old T.O.’s Orangeman’s air, worked with skill his teaching chores.
He honored shamrock, thistle, rose, tall trees, and roots with Britain;
And second-prized our Founding Year a songsmith’s competition.

No copyright, no fleur-de-lys; of insight only traces -
His “Maple Leaf” excluded half our country’s founding races.

On days of pomp, when bands would romp from Lakes to FroBay and Sea to Sea,
The trick was to pick “God Save the Queen” from “My Country ‘Tis of Thee”.
The music-sheets for these two treats seemed equal when you scanned them;
We’d need decide in love and pride the True North’s national anthem.

Untwine the Line at Forty-Nine, les Ricains might endeavour;
Could we that fragile Line define with “Maple Leaf Forever”?


Robert Stanley Weir
 lyricist




Calixa Lavallee
 composer





















St-Jean-Baptiste in Canada East resounded with Lavallée’s score;
R.Weir took on the daunting task - Theme O-Canada's breadth restore.
The over-zealed paroles part-spared, the English not so prominent,
Still women and newcomers griped, “It’s sexist and male-dominant.”

Though reg'ments proud tout "Leaf" their tune, and Anglo journals loudly rant,  
Some decades past, "O Canada" did Muir's time-worn chant supplant.
In time for our Centennial, new flag and hymn to savour, 
Still stuck with macho lyrics and a pinch of maple flavour ! 

 More recent play: ere Y2K, the CBC a contest ran -
So flourished a new pluralist “Leaf” by songwright Vlad Radian.
On-base, pristine, past sins redressed, a newfound “Feuille” quite clever -
Anne Murray sang, the Gardens closed - "The Maple Leaf Forever".


Ann Murray sings 









Its reassembled mission clear, no heaven or hegemony;
Games TwentyTen ‘twas Bublé-showed, while “O” did Ceremonies.

This year Muir's ancient fabled tree was felled by stormy weather;
Still sometimes heard but seldom hymned - "The Maple Leaf Forever".
















Performing notes


 Enjoy chord-charts and lyrics at the Corktown Ukulele Jam songbook: 
Corktunes: Canadian Reunion 
      
In [F] days less pure, the [Bb] clan named [F] Muir [C] brought young Alex [G7] to these [C] shores;
[C7] He [F] breathed old T.O.’s [Dm] Orangeman’s [Bb] air, worked with [G] skill his  tea[G7]ching [C] chores. [C7]
He [F] honored shamrock, [Bb] thistle, [F] rose, tall [Bb] trees, and roots with [C] Britain; [C7]
And [F] second-prized our [Bb] Founding [F] Year a [Bb] songsmith’s [F] compe[C]ti[F]tion.

No [F] copyright, no [Bb] fleur-de-[F]-lys; of [Bb] insight only [C] traces [C7] -
His [F]Maple Leaf” ex[Bb]cluded [F] half our [Bb] country’s [F] founding [C] ra[F]ces.



Related Palindromes

Eh (Can.)  - Panache.

Ton. Net. Forever. Often. Not.


Post a Comment