What does it mean to "stand on guard for thee"? Detuning the Canadian national anthem

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Stewart, Tyler J
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Cultural, Social, and Political Thought
At their core, national anthems attempt to unite citizens of the nation through music. While “O Canada” might endeavour to unify the country in song, this research-creation project unsettles and detunes the anthem to consider both the content and context of its continuing lyrical and harmonic evolution, positioning the anthem as a contested site within the dance floor of discourse. I seek to challenge both myself and others to consider our positions within the ongoing structure of settler-colonialism in Canada, and to address our individual and collective responsibilities as Canadians. In this process of deconstructing the anthem, I question not just what it says, but what it does within Canadian society. Whether you sing along with the anthem, remain silent, take a knee, or engage in other actions, it is important for all Canadians to address where they stand in relation to “standing on guard for thee.”
Canada -- History , National anthems , National music , Songs -- Canada -- Texts , Songs -- History and criticism , Songs -- Texts , Dissertations, Academic