The World Series, Superbowl and the Proper Way To Sing Our National Anthem

Jose Feliciano and his Rendition

 Couldn't see this coming
Couldn't see this coming | Source

Sing It From The Heart

Sing it right, damn it! I'm certain that the majority of mature Americans feel that way about the off the wall interpretations of our national anthem over the past decade or so. The entertainment industry has used the opportunity of singing the anthem as a showcase for the talents of many high priced entertainers. many with questionable vocal ability. Not all of us recognize their hip hop or gospel inspired musical ranting as being appropriate for presenting our nation's beautiful anthem to a crowd of 100 million viewers.

A growing number of us outside the hip-hop culture don't appreciate the way these show-offs try to outdo the last highlighted singer. These clowns forget that the invitation to sing our "Star Spangled Banner" is an honor, not an opportunity for self promotion that often results in forgotten or botched lyrics. They need to leave the styling for the stage and sing our song in a heartfelt, honest manner, in keeping with the way it was originally written. Forget the long held high notes held to the point of near expiration. Breath like you should and sing loud and clear, just as the theme was originally written. Of course, that could be the problem for some of the singers unable to read music.

It has been suggested that to capture the real spirit of the anthem, the performer should imagine him or herself singing in front of a group of WWII vets who paid the price for their country. If that doesn't inspire them nothing will. The fault lies in the hands of the game promoters who believe that a big name entertainer will improve the ratings and even help draw a bigger crowd to the event. A better idea would be to give a local choir or a veteran the opportunity to sing like we all did when were in grade school. It was rousing then and sent a shiver up our spines when we sang it. It could again if we stop trying to turn it into a spectacle. It will be interesting to see what Renee does with it this year.

There are penalties in force for desecrating the American flag. Why not extend those penalties to those who abuse the national anthem? At the next halftime show, let's vote on that.

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Should bad vocals be subject to the same penalties as for defacing our flag? 2 comments

pay2cEM profile image

pay2cEM 2 years ago from Nashville

I don't know how one "hogs the spotlight" when they're the only one being spotlighted at the moment, doing the exact thing they were contracted to do. The original National Anthem - as penned by Francis Scott Key - was lyrics and a melody. There was no recording of it, and the composer wrote no instructions as to how it should be sung. As such, there is no "right way" to sing it any more than there is a "right way" to sing any of the enumerable Christmas songs that get reinterpreted year after year. Unlike many other countries and cultures, individuality is celebrated in America. Taking one's national anthem and adding one's personal flair to it makes the anthem personal, and thereby more genuine. We're a nation of patriots, not cookie-cutter automatons. Remember when Whitney Houston changed the time signature from 3/4 to 4/4? That's widely regarded as one of the best renditions ever! Singing it from the heart - as opposed to singing it how someone else tells you to - is the epitome of the American spirit. Granted, there have been some notoriously awful vocalists who've mangled it over the years (though generally not at Super Bowls), but that's an injunction against the voice, not the styling. As a music producer, I actually keep an iTunes Playlist of our National Anthems, and I LOVE the interpretations.


Kramar profile image

Kramar 2 years ago from USA Author

spoken like a true music ptoducer ... interesting assessment

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