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  • Bill Chastain

O Canada

Everybody in Rogers Centre sings when the Canadian national anthem is played.

Happened again Monday night before the Blue Jays’ home opener in Toronto. “O Canada! Our home and native land…”

Canada_Flag_WavyNever fails to amaze me.

Rarely do you hear fans singing along with “The Star Spangled Banner” prior to games in the United States.

Of course, the person singing our National Anthem always seems to have an ulterior motive. If I nail this, American Idol is next.

The best versions are performed with a simple and direct style, bringing to mind the football player who scores a touchdown and hands the ball to the referee. Yeah, I’ve been there before.

Renditions of note include Kate Smith, Robert Merrill, and, my personal favorite, Johnny Mathis. Yes, Mr. “Chances Are” did a killer rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

Are Canadians just more patriotic than Americans? Could be habit. Perhaps “O Canada” is just better suited to the untrained voice of the fan. The one thing I do know is it’s moving to watch and listen when it’s “O Canada” time in Toronto.

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©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography