O Say Can You Sing? Christina Aguilera Accused of Butchering National Anthem

Christina Aguilera has become the latest star to apparently blow the national anthem. In her case, she left out the “O’er the ramparts we watched” — a critical and noticeable line. However, the real question is why we have a national anthem that only a castrato with a photographic memory can sing.

I do not wish to insult anyone, but our national anthem is pretty lame. It lacks the power of the “La Marseillaise” and the accessibility of “Oh Canada.” Just look at the words and think how few Americans can actually recite let alone sing this song:

O! 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 through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! 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, O! 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.

O! 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!

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” anyone? I must say that I have long had a particular fondness for O Canada (as well as the Canadian flag). While it is a bit too late to take over that country to take either item, we might consider finding a song that a citizen can sing.

Source:Huffington Post

85 thoughts on “O Say Can You Sing? Christina Aguilera Accused of Butchering National Anthem”

  1. Bob,
    That was interesting on how the lyrics were changed. I did not know that.
    Mike S.,
    thanks for the video of Woody. When he is just talking, he sounds just like Arlo.

  2. Bob,Esq.,
    Thanks for the info. It figures about the sanitization. I must admit that until I posted the lyrics, I didn’t even realize what the last two choruses said. I probably heard them before but they didn’t register mentally.

  3. “There’s another Guthrie parallel in this.As he was working up material for “Nebraska,” Springsteen became fascinated with Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” how it had been stripped of its original, radical meaning. He often performed it, but always with an explanation: “This song, it was originally written as an angry song,” he would say. “It was an answer to Irving Berlin who just wrote ‘God Bless America.’ This song was written as an answer to that song.”

    http://www.nysun.com/arts/springsteens-state-of-mind/25800/

  4. Does anyone know whether it is customary in other countries for a national anthem to be played prior to big sports events? Like a big soccer game in Europe, or a big cricket match in England.

    I wonder about that when I go to a major league baseball game.

  5. Here’s the only thing done exactly right in Philadelphia with the inimitable Kate Smith. The Flyers still have the sense to use it:

  6. Mike Spindell:

    I have been deemed unfit for discussing issues with others at this blog.

    And as such, at this time, I am not responding to any question(s) or posts made to me (except for this administrative comment).

    Any inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to Lottakatz, the apparent All Knowing Wise One and Grand Poohbah @ Jonathan Turley dot org.

    Have a great day.

  7. Mike S.,
    You are right about the memories and the tears. We must have song American Pie a hundred times or more in out Senior year of college. It still sounds good to me.

  8. “American Pie–boy…that’s brings back memories!”

    Sure does and a few tears also.

  9. “The Battle Hymn of the Republic is Blasphemy. So I would hate to see it used.”

    Is it blas[hemy because it’s about defeating the South? Just wondering.

  10. “Other countries are looking at that and wondering how Americans can put their pants on with the zipper in front.”

    hahahaha!…..well, I think it’s been awhile since we have!

  11. Maybe if she was more focused on the words and not adding all her ooos and ahhhhs and riffs and what not she would have gotten it right! I’m not a fan of christina ever, this is no exception. Big thumbs down!

  12. It is not a difficult piece of music to perform correctly and well.

    It just takes someone with reasonably good vocal technique, which disqualifies most pop and amateur pop singers. Most pop music has a vocal range of less than one octave so that knocks them out of the running from the get go. And if they can’t memorize a single verse of half a dozen lines or so maybe somebody should have them drug tested before the performance.

    Rehearsal also helps. Any live performer who takes for granted that they “know” something they are about to perform, and doesn’t rehearse it a hundred times or so is asking for trouble. There are too many potential distractions in live performing it is easy to loose concentration.

    I think Tex Schram’s, GM of the Dallas Cowboys for a couple of decades, approach was correct. He had the first chair trumpet from the Dallas Symphony stand on the field and play it. I doubt that he ever messed it up. And it was easy for the fans to sing along.

    Other countries are looking at that and wondering how Americans can put their pants on with the zipper in front.
    It is a national shame.

  13. Bob,

    “I wonder what Buddha thinks about executive assassination orders issued for people responsible for really bad half time shows like the foregoing.”

    I would say they are still an unconstitutional deprivation of due process.

    However, even with due process, some conclusions are foregone and proper on other merits.

    LK,

    “That’s OK, most folks in the US think the last words of the National Anthem are ‘Plaaaay Ball!'”

    You mean they’re not?

  14. Bob,
    you might have a point when it comes to The New Kids on the Block!! Yuk!
    Lotta,
    you are correct about those last two words of the song that don’t shou up in the lyrics!! However, with 2-3 feet of snow on the ground it is hard to think of Baseball.

  15. HenMan: “Elaine- I just sang along with your “O Canada!” video. At the end I shouted, “Let’s Play Hockey!” I just couldn’t help myself.”
    —-

    That’s OK, most folks in the US think the last words of the National Anthem are “Plaaaay Ball!” 🙂

  16. Elaine, Thanks for the Muppets, they just spiraled into LOL silliness, so much so that the better half had to ask what I was watching.

  17. I wonder what Buddha thinks about executive assassination orders issued for people responsible for really bad half time shows like the foregoing.

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