They sing the wrong words. They sing the wrong notes. Sometimes, it is as if they are singing the wrong anthem.
I am tired of listening to singers butcher the national anthem. The “Star-Spangled Banner” is a gorgeous, moving, challenging song. Lately, the mashed, twisted, rearranged versions I am hearing make my ears ring; not from the bombs bursting in air, but the notes twinging, twanging and trilling without ever finding a home.
Listening to Christina Aguilera’s version of the national anthem during the Superbowl on Sunday was so horrific to me that I did not even notice she had messed up the words. Her notes were so wrong, so off, that I completely missed the fact that there were no ramparts anymore. Honestly, all the trilling really is just a sign that she cannot hit and/or sustain a note.
When I was a younger man, people sang the national anthem the way it was written. And, you know what happened, everyone sang along.
That is what I want. I would die and go to heaven if I could perform the national anthem at Arrowhead with all 73,000 people belting it out with me.
Now, that would be powerful. That would be awe-inspiring. That is the way it used to be.
Sadly, singers think it is all about them now. That is the problem; our selfish, hey-look-at-me culture. They want to be applauded for how great they sang the anthem and how they “made it their own.”
It does not belong to them. It belongs to the nation. It is not about them. It is about our nation.
That is what we have forgotten. It is time for us to take it back. Let’s put the “nation” back in our national anthem.