When O Canada became the official national anthem

On Canada Day, revellers across the country sang O Canada after it was proclaimed the national anthem.

Song was 100 years old and familiar to Canadians but wasn't the official anthem until 1980

O Canada becomes official national anthem in 1980

43 years ago
Duration 2:44
Revellers across the country sing O Canada after it is proclaimed the national anthem.

It was Canada's 113th birthday and across the country, Canadians were celebrating with a song.

O Canada, the country's best-known patriotic song, had finally become its official national anthem.

CBC's The National checked in across the country on July 1, 1980 and found that on land and in the sky, in French and in English, Canadians were united in song.

Words rewritten more than once

The first arrangement of O Canada used music composed by accomplished musician and composer Calixa Lavalée and lyrics by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, a poet and Quebec Superior Court Judge.

The official English words are based on lyrics by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908. The French version remains unchanged from the original, but the English words underwent some alterations in 1968, 1980 and 2018.