The Maple Leaf Forever

Something for the weekend.  My sainted Mom was from Newfoundland.  She was proud of being a “Newfie”, and my family lived up in that beautiful land from a few months after my birth in 1957 until 1961 when we returned to the US, although she eventually became a naturalized American citizen.  Her family in 1949 preferred statehood with the US over joining on to Canada.  She always liked the unneutered version of the Maple Leaf Forever, however.  This one is for you Mom.

In days of yore, from Britain’s shore,
Wolfe, the dauntless hero came,

And planted firm Britannia’s flag,
On Canada’s fair domain.
Here may it wave, our boast, our pride,
And joined in love together,
The thistle, shamrock, rose entwine

The Maple Leaf forever!

The Maple Leaf, our emblem dear,
The Maple Leaf forever!
God save our Queen, and Heaven bless,
The Maple Leaf forever!

At Queenston Heights and Lundy’s Lane,
Our brave fathers, side by side,
For freedom, homes, and loved ones dear,
Firmly stood and nobly died;
And those dear rights which they maintained,
We swear to yield them never!
Our watchword evermore shall be,
The Maple Leaf forever!

Our fair Dominion now extends
From Cape Race to Nootka Sound;
May peace forever be our lot,
And plenteous store abound:
And may those ties of love be ours
Which discord cannot sever,
And flourish green o’er freedom’s home
The Maple Leaf forever!

On merry England‘s far famed land
May kind heaven sweetly smile,
God bless old Scotland evermore
and Ireland‘s Em’rald Isle!
And swell the song both loud and long
Till rocks and forest quiver!
God save our King and Heaven bless
The Maple Leaf forever!

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Here is hoping English Canada gives Quebec its walking papers and excises the legacy of Pierre-Elliott Trudeau, the Constitution of 1982 in particular.

  2. Art Deco:
    I agree with you about the legacy of PET. But “give Quebec its walking papers”? Have you forgotten where Canada started? As a reminder, if you are Catholic, Canada’s primatial see is in Quebec City, with Cardinal Marc Ouellet as the Primate of the Catholic Church for all of Canada.
    As a Catholic and a “québécoise” I am proud of the legacy of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys and Saint Marguerite d’Youville (the Sisters of Charity) who founded Orders that are active from sea to sea; the Ven. François de Montmorency-Laval, Jeanne Mance and so many others; and those explorers who opened roads west to the Rockies and down South to the mouth of the Mississipi…
    Charity should trump politics…
    Elise B.

  3. This one for Donald:
    I do not know how old is your mother, but I am old enough to remember that it took 3 referendums and the stubbornness of Joey Smallwood before Newfoundland joined the Confederation in 1949.
    Elise B.

  4. Miss Elise:

    I think the course of Canadian public policy is partially stymied by the addition of an ethno-national binary to the usual polarities of political life. Mr. Harper is currently presiding over yet another minority government. The language barrier and the conjoining of Upper and Lower Canada as a consequence of one party defeating the other confound the formation of a satisfying national self-conception and common loyalty. Let Quebec have their flag and anthem and language; let English Canada fly the Red Ensign and sing The Maple Leaf Forever and pay their due respects to Her Majesty; let both have within themselves the disputes modern countries have over questions economic and social; and let both understand themselves as something other than not-American.

    Now, let’s see if you can get a Bloc Quebebois administration to accept responsibility for a quarter of the central government’s bonded debt and accept revisions to the frontier (the north of Quebec being disproportionately aboriginal and generally federalist). As the man in the mock beer commercial says, “Ah beeleeve in ze distinct zociety, as long a someone elze pays for it.”

  5. Don, one of the most uplifting books I ever read was “The Day the World Came to Town,” about the dozens of international flights that were diverted to the Gander airport on 9/11 after U.S. airspace was closed, and how the townspeople welcomed hundreds of complete strangers into their homes until the flights could leave again. I learned from reading this book about the colorful Newfie tradition of “kissing the cod” and downing Screech liquor, which makes you an honorary Newfie.

  6. Elise, my mom was born in 36. You are quite correct about the three referendums and Joey Smallwood. Newfies were still talking about it as if it were yesterday in the Sixties.

    Elaine, now you are making me homesick! Newfoundland has a very unique culture, and I was very pleased that the luck of the draw of birth caused me to experience at first hand how warm-hearted Newfies can be. My great Uncle Bill, who served in WW2 in the Royal Army because, as he said, “Someone had to teach the Limies how to fight!”, used to kiddingly call me a “dirty Yank” and I used to kiddingly call him a “dirty Newf”, but part of me still remains Newfie.

  7. Elise B.,

    sadly that’s ancient history. Like most of Europe, Quebec is a wasteland of secularism.

  8. Anyway, when I was in Sea Cadets we used to play this song, accompanied by cannon fire a la 1812 overture.

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