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The NBA All-Star Game has long served as an opportunity for musical artists to experiment with the national anthem, whether right or wrong, and Sunday was no different. Canadian R&B icon Jully Black made a small, controversial change to the lyrics of ‘O Canada’ that has sparked a lot of debate.
There have been quite a few instances throughout the years where the national anthem singer at the NBA All-Star Game took creative liberties with the arrangement. Where some people believe that the anthem should be sung as written, others appreciate the musicality.
Marvin Gay’s rendition in 1983 stands out as one of the most famous.
Fergie’s, though, is perhaps the most famous for all of the wrong reasons.
Jewel sang the Star Spangled Banner on Sunday night and did not stray too far from the original arrangement.
Black, who sang the Canadian anthem, did not mess too much with the notes themselves. She chose to make her change not in the music, but in the lyric.
The rewrite to ‘O Canada!’ was subtle, but bold.
Canadian anthem lyrics open: “O Canada! Our home and native land!”
Black changed the lyrics to begin “O Canada! Our home on native land!”
Most Americans who do not know the lyrics to ‘O Canada’ likely didn’t notice. Here is her performance:
Black’s decision to change “and” to “on” was deliberate. She spoke with TSN after her performance and explained why she made the switch.
“I really dissected the lyrics, to really sing it with intention.”@JullyBlack did her research, reaching out to Indigenous community members, before performing the Canadian anthem. pic.twitter.com/qJezyvdTbG— THE SHIFT (@theshift_sports) February 20, 2023
The change, while small and fairly insignificant, carried a lot of weight and made an intentional statement. It’s also worth noting that Canada changed its anthem to include gender-neutral language in 2018.
Black’s decision received praise from some, but saw pushback from others.
The fact she said “on native land” only substantiates the fact that the land is that which is home to its natives. Which is to say anyone born of that land.— Oceanic Prole (@C_Midd77) February 20, 2023
Being such BY BIRTH OR ORIGIN.
I doubt she realizes what she actually did.
My family came here from Ireland almost 200 years ago. Canada is my home AND native land, not my home ON native land.— Tweeter Maven (@tweetermaven) February 20, 2023
Disgraceful, no need to do that to the anthem. If you think your so clever – try referring to the people I believe you mean are Indigenous, not “native” Original verse wasn’t referring to indigenous people.— David J.N. Wilson (@DavidJNWilson1) February 20, 2023
While I like it, it’s not up to her to make that change while representing our country. It was disrespectful.— BM (@BrentM246) February 20, 2023
What do you think of Black’s decision?
5 CommentsLeave a Reply
Wow. People actually tuned in to watch that turd?
Canada being Canada. I bet black face him self Justin Trudeau will change it right after he takes more power from the Canadians.
Blacks will do anything to try to erase White success and culture. They even lie, saying that they built America, haha! They have not accomplished anything anywhere and resent those who have, Whites, Jews, Asians,etc.
Just another histrionic personality.
Ugh. Can’t stand people who constantly beat the stolen land drum. Land isn’t stolen, it’s conquered. Has been true since the beginning of agriculture 10,000 years ago. And if it weren’t Europeans crossing the Atlantic, it would have eventually been Asians crossing the Pacific, who would have done the same thing (i.e. claim newfound lands and resources). No matter what, there would come a time when old world diseases made their way to the new world, which had no prior exposure. Between disease, technology, and lack of a cohesive native empire, the indigenous never stood much of a chance. That said, too bad, so sad. Go throw a pity party somewhere else.