Something to Sing About
(source: "Jubilee Songbook", Girl Guides of Canada, 1971; words and music by Oscar Brand.)

I have walked on the strand of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland
Laxed on the ridge of the Miramichi
Seen the waves tear and roar on the stone coast of Labrador
Watched them roll back to the Great Northern Sea


From the Vancouver Island to the Alberta Highland
'Cross the Prairies, the lakes to Ontario's towers
From the sound of Mount Royal's chimes, up to the Maritimes
Something to sing about, this land of ours
I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan
Followed the sun to the Vancouver shore
Watched it climb shiny new up the snow peaks of Caribou
Up to the clouds where the wild Rockies soar

I have heard the wild wind sing the places that I have been
Bay Bull and Red Deer and Strait of Bells Isle
Names like Grand Mere and Silverthorne
Moose Jaw and Marrowbone,
Trails of the pioneer, named with a smile

I have wandered my way to the wild wood of Hudson Bay
Treated my toes to Quebec's morning dew
Where the sweet summer breeze kissed the leaves of the maple trees
Sharing this song that I'm sharing with you

Yes there's something to sing about, tune up a string about
Call out in chorus or quietly hum
Of a land that is still young, with a ballad that's still unsung
Telling the promise of great things to come

  • I recently received another letter from a visitor to this site concerning the history of this song. Eliot Gardner writes:

    I write regarding the comment [above] that the first line of Oscar Brand's wonderful song-of-praise of Canada ("Something to Sing About", also known in folk song circles as "This Land of Ours") could not be  accurate because the Grand Banks of Newfoundland are underwater. True, they ARE underwater most of the time. But, the Grand Banks are treacherously shallow in places, which is why such horrific waves build up on them during storms, especially nor'easters (as depicted so chillingly in the book and film "The Perfect Storm"). And, during extraordinary low tides (such as autumnal storm low tides), parts CAN get so shallow as to cause a Grand Banks long-line fishing boat to scrape bottom (if the skipper takes his/her eyes off the depth meter) and to even permit fishing crews to get out and walk. The same is true on George's Banks, off the coast of Nova Scotia and New England. After all, in nautical terminology, a "bank" is simply a huge shoal - a plateau submerged in shallow ocean waters. Both the Grand Banks and George's Banks are so shallow that they were both above water during the last ice age, when sea depths world-wide were lower than today.

    As a sailor, I have personally got off my boat and walked knee-deep on George's Banks approximately 150 Km southeast of Yarmouth, NS. And a friend who is a professional fisherman says that he has seen trawler and long-liner boat crews standing dry-shod on sand in roughly the same area during extraordinary low tides. Since present-day sea depths are roughly the same on the Grand Banks and George's Banks, similar things are possible (although extremely rare) on the Grand Banks.

    Bottom line? Oscar Brand (born and raised in Winnipeg) probably didn't know - when writing the song - how improbable his first line is. But not literally impossible. And, yes, "I have walked many a mile on the shores of Prince Edward Isle" is a very nice opening line also!