The national anthem. It’s a fixture at sporting events in North America.
Yet, even some of the most familiar songs can occasionally be butchered.
Here are seven infamous renditions of O Canada.
7. Opera singer cracks up players
Opera singer and concert artist Measha Brueggergosman has one of the finest singing voices in Canada, yet her approach didn’t seem to fit an NHL hockey game in 2012, sending Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the Ottawa Senators into laughter ahead of a midseason clash.
It took her nearly four minutes to get through both the Canadian and American national anthems at her first NHL anthem gig. Players struggled to keep a straight face.
6. Leafs fans help unprepared anthem singer in Florida
American singer Ryan Michael James was only expecting to sing the Star Spangled banner ahead of an NHL game in Florida between the Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs on March 23, 2023. He had two hours to learn the lyrics to O Canada, which clearly wasn’t enough time.
Lucky for him, Leafs fans in attendance helped him get through it.
5. Burton Cummings at the 100th Grey Cup
Best known for his time in The Guess Who, Burton Cummings put his original spin of O Canada at the 100th Grey Cup between the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argos in 2012, with the help of a keyboard.
4. Try singing along to this
At one of Canada’s most patriotic moments, the 2010 Winter Olympic opening ceremony in Vancouver, Nikki Yanofsky ensured those in attendance and watching at home couldn’t belt out the anthem proudly.
Changing pauses, tones, and tunes, Yanofsky put an original touch on O Canada.
3. Tenor slips “all lives matter” into O Canada
One member of the Canadian music group The Tenors chose to ad-lib some of the lyrics to O Canada at the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.
Instead of singing “with glowing hearts, we see thee rise, the true north strong and free,” singer Remigio Pereira sang, “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great.”
Pereira held up an “all lives matter” sign while singing the changed lyrics.
The stunt got him booted from the group. The three remaining members of The Tenors later sang O Canada at the Grey Cup without incident.
2. O Canada or O Christmas Tree?
Before the Las Vegas Raiders took the football spotlight in Nevada, the CFL had its moment in the sun in Sin City with the Las Vegas Posse.
The CFL south of the border never really caught on, playing in front of dismal crowds while featuring one of the world’s worst renditions of “O Canada,” sung by Greg Bartholomew.
1. Mark Donnelly goes for a skate
A once-beloved anthem singer of the Vancouver Canucks, Mark Donnelly discovered that singing while skating is more difficult than it sounds.
He found out the hard way before a 2014 BCHL game in Penticton, tripping over the red carpet at centre ice mid-song.