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Poor Renditions of the National Anthem Should Embarrass Americans

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Tagged As: Music and Society

The National Anthem has been in the past, but it’s most recent trouncing came at the hands of Christina Aguilera at the 2011 SuperBowl. It seemed that being asked to sing the National Anthem at a major event was once the honor in itself, but nowadays these singers seem to want to use the opportunity as free-publicity of vocal range, etc. A random e-mail came through my inbox today that summed it up quite nicely:

“So, with all the kindness I can muster, I give this one piece of advice to the next pop star who is asked to sing the national anthem at a sporting event: save the vocal gymnastics and the physical gyrations for your concerts. Just sing this song the way you were taught to sing it in kindergarten - straight up, no styling. Sing it with the constant awareness that there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines watching you from bases and outposts all over the world. Don’t make them cringe with your self-centered ego gratification. Sing it as if you are standing before a row of 86-year-old WWII vets wearing their Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and flag pins on their cardigans and you want them to be proud of you for honoring them and the country they love - not because you want them to think you are a superstar musician. They could see that from the costumes, the makeup and the entourages. Sing “The Star Spangled Banner” with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America, not you.”

Is it really that hard for somebody just to sing it?

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