Sunday, January 18, 2009

more star-spangled than banner

*Sigh* I just finished watching Jordin Sparks sing our National Anthem just before the kickoff of the Eagles/Cardinals playoff game. I'm sure she has a lot of fans. She seems to have a strong voice and she is certainly a pretty girl. But I gotta say, this girl totally took the beauty of the lyrics of Our. Country's. Anthem. and made it all about how she could "hold" a note.

I get so sick of these recording artists and the way they "perform" a song. I found this description from a book that beautifully describes what I am talking about (I have no interest in the book, but find the quote hilarious and right on target):

"an unrefined hemorrhage of sound, a quivering vibrato that mangled words into an unrelenting warble, punctuated at frequent intervals with bursts of shrill bleating."


Our National Anthem, people! Shall we reflect on the moment? Afterward, ruminate on the lyrics.

Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


lizzerd said...


Sandy said...

I am so totally in agreement with you. Don't muddy it up with "your" rendition of it. It's our national anthem....sing it the way it is supposed to be sung. And for heavens sake, learn the song. I am amazed at how many young people don't know the words to it or at least the first chorus to it.