O Canada!

Our home and native land!

True patriot love in all of us command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,

The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

I noticed that the national anthem for Canada doesn't tell you when to pause when singing the song. There's a pause between "love" and "in", another between "hearts" and "we", another "land" and "glorious". Is there a reason for not keeping them on different lines? Also, there are punctuations in there. I am guessing this is not a song, but in a song don't you skip a line when there's a pause? What are the typical standards on this when composing a song lyrics?

1 Answer 1


Timing and accents and pauses in music aren't shown in the lyrics, but in the sheet music which links the lyrics with the notes of the song. enter image description here

  • There is no pause, or rest, in the musical sense here. The dot after the half note is extending it by half of its length, i.e. by a quarter note. The singer is supposed to hold the note, as is the right hand of the piano, while the left hand plays other notes in the meantime. Rests are always explicitly denoted with their own signs, see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rest_(music) Other versions may contain rests, but not the sheet you have shown. A long distance between words is never indicating a pause; this is only done to keep the notation of all other voices and instruments aligned.
    – Matt
    Jul 21, 2021 at 15:57

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