There was a song, not so long ago, that was considered Canada’s unofficial national anthem. Today sadly though, it has now been almost erased from memory. The song was called The Maple Leaf forever!
But who was behind this great forgotten anthem, where did he make it, what was the history behind the song and most important to me, where did he live?
This is a story of how I just happened to bump into the tree that dropped one of it’s leafs on this man’s shoulder, which in turn, helped him pen the song The Maple Leaf Forever!
When I was young, I recall hearing this song that was often hummed at my grandparents house. I can’t remember much of what it was all about, but I do have fond memories of it. Ones that made me feel comfortable, relaxed and that gave me a sense of being at home.
Later on in life, I heard this song being played in an instrumental version mostly on history/documentary shows. It was even played at a Toronto Maple Leafs game in the glorious Maple Leaf Gardens! If memory serves me correctly, there were no words that ever accompanied it.
Then a couple of years ago while going to a local gardening shop with my wife in the Greenwood and Queen St. E. part of town, we found no street parking nearby our local gardening center, damn! So I had to look for a place to park on one of the side streets. When I finally found a spot, I got out and across the street there was a small house, with people walking in and out of this tiny, but quaint little it home. After closer inspection, I noticed a City Historical Plaque out in front of it, attached to this majestic Maple Leaf tree on front lawn. Upon going over to see it, I thought to myself, hey why not, let’s check it out!
The Plaque that was on the Tree
Principal of nearby Leslieville Public School who was inspired to write Canada’s national song “The Maple Leaf Forever” by the falling leaves of this sturdy maple tree.
The Orange Lodge of British America
So now I found myself inside doing a small tour of this home and reading some of the literature that was there. It basically was about Alexander Muir and this song called The Maple Lead Forever.
At first I didn’t connect this song that was playing through a small stereo in the parlor, with the memory of that song that I had listened to as a kid. It all of a sudden hit me that, this was the home, that had THE TREE that dropped one of it’s leafs, onto the man, who had created Canada’s unofficial second national Anthem called The Maple Leaf Forever, huh! Imagine that, someone else who lived in my neighbourhood that was part of Canadian Musical History! The eastern part of the city of Toronto, especially East York, really ROCKS!
After realizing that I had left my wife at the garden store now for quite some time now, I quickly picked up as many brochures as I could and off I went.
Keep on Jammin’ in the east End!