Our American cousins, I thought this morning in the shower, have it good: they’ve got three national songs that everyone knows the words to. The Star Spangled Banner, America The Beautiful and God Bless America. At the Reagan funeral last night, each was used at an appropriate moment.
Here in Canada we’ve got Oh Canada, which has not only changed its words in my lifetime, but is also now more often sung bilingually than not, with the English/French break coming at some random time and taking everyone by surprise.
There’s God Save The Queen, of course. I imagine that most Canadians could at least belt out the first line, and most over 50 could remember the entire thing. It’s not quite about Canada, mind you, but there’s history on its side.
I suppose our third is The Maple Leaf Forever. Except that I know neither the tune nor the words, and I expect I’m not alone in that.
Were I ever to die, I think I’d like to have Speaking With the Angel (by the trio Cry, Cry, Cry), You Don’t Need (Jane Siberry) and, despite the corniness, Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) played at my funeral.
The thought of the mourners slow dancing on my grave is too good to pass up.