"Canada" (also known as "Ca-na-da" or "The Centennial Song", French version "Une chanson du centenaire") was written by Bobby Gimby in 1967 to celebrate Canada's centennial and Expo 67, and was commissioned by the Centennial Commission (a special Federal Government agency). The song was written in both of Canada's official languages, English and French.
The song's recording was performed by the Young Canada Singers, two groups of children — one that sang the French lyrics, led by Montreal conductor Raymond Berthiaume, and another that sang in English, under conductor Laurie Bower in Toronto. The musical score was composed by Ben McPeek. The song was recorded at Hallmark Recording Studios in Toronto, and the 45 rpm release was manufactured for the Centennial Commission by Quality Records Ltd. The single was the most successful single in Canada in 1967, selling a then unprecedented 270,000 copies.
In 1971, Gimby donated all royalties to the Boy Scouts of Canada, but the song only earned one cent per airplay, which is one of the lowest rates in the world. Since its release, the song has been recorded by over 30 different musicians.
In the Canadian/British animated television show Bob and Margaret, the Centennial Song is loudly and crudely sung by the wife of Bob's cousin while showering.
The song is sung as a continuous round. Although both English and French versions of the lyrics were produced, they are both bilingual. In the English version, the English verse is sung first, followed by the chorus in English, and then the French verse. In the French version, the order of the verses is reversed, and the first chorus is sung in French. The second, bilingual, chorus is the same for both versions, with the exception of the last line.