On this day in 1874 Canada's most patriotic song, The Maple Leaf Forever
, was performed for the first time at a foundation stone laying ceremony for the Christian Baptist Church in Newmarket, Ontario.
Written in October of 1867 by Alexander Muir, the lyrics to The Maple Leaf Forever
served as a last minute entry in the Caledonian Society of Montreal's patriotic poetry contest. The poem won second prize but went on to become one of English Canada's most patriotic songs when Muir later composed music for his anthem. In 1997, a "politically sensitive" version of the song was written by Vladimir Radian. Lyrics to both versions can be found here
Collections Canada's Virtual Gramophone
has a few recordings of the song, including performances by Tenor Edward Johnson
and Robert Price