It was sung as the national anthem for many years before the government made it official in 1980.
Here are the words, explained in Simple English:
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.
("Canada, our home and the country where we were born, everything we do is for you! With joy we watch you get better and better. You are the True North, strong and free. Our citizens come from all over the earth and we watch over you to keep you safe. God, please keep our land good and free! O Canada, we watch over you to keep you safe.")
Here are the words in French. The words in French and English do not mean the same thing.
Ô Canada! Terre de nos aĩeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux! Car ton bras sait porter l'épée, Il sait porter la croix! Ton histoire est une épopée Des plus brillants exploits. Et ta valeur de foi trempée Protégera nos foyers et nos droits; Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
("Canada, land of our parents and grandparents, you wear a crown of beautiful flowers! You can carry a sword, and you can carry a cross (for Christianity); your whole history is full of the great things you have done. You are brave and faithful, and this will protect our homes and our rights.")