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Gender-neutral national anthem in Canada almost official; 'all thy sons' on their way out
A gender-neutral Canadian national anthem is almost official. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Gender-neutral national anthem in Canada almost official; 'all thy sons' on their way out

The Canadian national anthem is but one small step away from becoming officially gender neutral, as the country's Senate passed a bill that changes the English-language version of "O Canada," BBC News reported.

What lyrics are changing?

The line "in all thy sons command" is now "in all of us command," the Senate ruled Wednesday, according to the outlet.

What's the next step?

BBC News said the change will become law following "royal assent by the governor general."

What's the background?

The 2016 bill stalled in the Senate as conservatives battled against it, the outlet said, adding that a voice vote finally pushed it through.

Conservatives pushed back against a similar proposal in 2010 when they held the majority in Parliament, BBC News said.

The outlet added that 12 bills had been introduced in the House to get rid of the "sons" line since the tune became Canada's official national anthem in 1980, the outlet said, citing CBC.

A group of women — including author Margaret Atwood and former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who launched a 2013 campaign to see the lyric change come to pass — said revising "O Canada" would "encapsulate the equality of all Canadians," BBC News reported.

"O Canada" was originally composed in French, and that version doesn't have a reference to "sons," the outlet reported.

The tune was first performed in 1880, and its English version used the line "thou dost in us command" before being changed to "in all thy sons command" in 1913, BBC News said.

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