Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Avid interest in politics, though not party based. Deep into senior interests. Teach several computer classes at our local senior center. Teach several classes in building fishing rods at our outdoor campus. Top 5 interests? Wife, grandkids, fishing, fishing, fishing. Intense reader, mostly fiction. Enjoy writing

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Defiling our National Anthem

Defiling our National Anthem

Our National Anthem is a tough song to sing.  Over the years many have said we should have a different one that any one can sing.  Fine!  But until then, we have the Star Spangled Banner.  I don’t need to dig into the history and all it means.  It is our National Anthem.

Now, here comes a host of singers, soloists, groups, and bands that take this beautiful piece of music, and add their own interpretations.  Fine.  But why do they feel their talents are so great, that they can apply them to this music until it is almost unrecognizable.

A young, “world famous” recording artist did the Star Spangled Banner before the 4th game of the World Series.  Great voice, horrible arrangement.  He added enough extra notes to make another completely different song.  He also rearranged in such a way that the lyrics were the only clue that he was singing our National Anthem.

I have no objection to these artists taking any song ever written and adding their interpretation to it.  Bury it in any arrangement they choose.  That’s music and they have the freedom to do with what they wish.  I for one just tune them out, instead preferring to hear the music the way it was written. Of course, I immediately date myself and show I am out of touch with today’s music

In my younger years my folks wondered why I listened to the music I did, as I wonder today why kids listen to the music they do. Each generation seems to have their favorite music.

Back to the Star Spangled Banner.  Why can’t these present day artists realize the glorious history of this anthem, and sing it from their hearts? I’ve heard many renditions that were clean, clear, and memorable.  Today’s generation could say these artists are making it memorable by applying their talents to it and doing it their way.  Nuts.  Next, they will probably say our flag should be “interpreted” like they do the Anthem, and change the colors, add polka dots or whatever distortion they feel makes it memorable.

A bit of humor during the World Series occurred at the 7th inning stretch of game 3.  Another “well known country artist “ that I’d never heard of, sang God Bless America.  Somehow she and her guitar were in two different keys.  She was flat beyond the imagination.  It was as funny as the National Anthem vocalist was sad.