First of all, congratulations to the Toronto Raptors (and its’ fans) for making basketball history as the first-ever Canadian team to win an NBA title.
Getting into the NBA Finals itself was a moment of pride, not just for Toronto fans, but for all Canadians. After all, the Raptors is the only Canadian team in the dominantly American professional basketball league.
As with other similar milestone events in sports, the sidelights are just as interesting as the main event itself.
For instance, it’s interesting to see Canadians sing their national anthem, “O Canada,” with all their heart. It’s indeed a resounding display of their patriotism, especially when Grammy winner and Canadian Sarah McLachlan sang it before Game 6.
But what if I told you that “O Canada” sounds a lot like “A Song for Mary,” the Ateneo De Manila University’s alma mater hymn? Interestingly, it was sang loudly and proudly (with chants of “Go Ateneo!” in between lines), especially after a game against La Salle.
Here’s a video of Sarah McLachlan singing “O Canada” in NBA Finals Game 6:
Here’s a video of Ateneo crowd singing alma mater song after finals game vs La Salle:
Now, before you get confused between “Go Canada” and “O Ateneo,” you’d probably want to know if Ateneo copied from Canada.
“A Song for Mary” was composed in the 1950s by the late Fr. James Reuter, SJ, a key figure in the 1986 EDSA revolt. According to the university’s website, the music of its alma mater hymn was adapted from the music of “O Canada,” composed by US Army band musician Calixa Lavalée in 1880.
But here’s the twist. “O Canada” officially became the Canadian national anthem only in 1980, 3 decades after “A Song for Mary” became Ateneo’s alma mater hymn.
So, who sings their anthem better?
But regardless of your pick between the Canadians and the Ateneans, an anthem definitely spices up the mood for any game.