Monday, October 9, 2017

What Happened to "A Place to Stand"?

"Give us a place to stand
And a place to grow
And call this land On-tario . . ."

That was a fine song from my youth. It was not only eminently singable, but memorable, too.

And it's been retuned for a new generation; or something like that.

There is a new ad campaign extolling the virtues of Ontario, Canada, and being a citizen within. The move to update "A Place to Stand" is fine, to be expected, of course, and it is designed for Ontario's and Canada's 150th birthday celebrations, but to strip away what made the song work in the first place is all too typical. The original was a breathy chorus, a proud and exuberant call to this province. Now it's a tiny, but hip (man), little bitty that carries no memory. It's not even a noble attempt to reboot the song, but rather, a lesson in how not to arrange a song that originally enjoyed a marvellous tune. The tune is now gone. Composer Delores Claman is probably wondering where her song went.

This reminds me of something a friend of mine will dispense from time to time; and especially at a time like this:

"Why do they strip away the very things that made it work in the first place?"

Neil is right.

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