The lyrics for the English version of O Canada were penned by Robert Stanley Weir in 1908, in honour of Quebec City's 300th anniversary. The original anthem did not contain any mention of God, and the lyrics are as follows:
O Canada! Our home and native landMr. Weir was an intelligent, accomplished man, and I do not believe he omitted God from the national anthem by accident. He knew very well that it is we the people who must stand on guard to keep Canada glorious and free, and he was probably aware of the cultural diversity that is Canada and singing praise to God in the anthem would alienate cultures with different beliefs. Intelligent people tend to be aware that not everybody on earth worships God; that there are also polytheists, those who prefer the term Goddess, Allah, and then there are religions like Buddhism which doesn't involve praising any god. Then there are atheists. Leaving God out of our national anthem demonstrated a great deal of forward thinking for a man of 1908 in recognizing the broad cultural diversity that has become Canada.
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The True North strong and free!
And stand on guard, O Canada
We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, glorious and free,
We stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
As a tribute, I created this video of our original anthem, as it should have been, as sung by Edward Johnson: