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von Baur

WARNING! Rant ahead

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Is anyone else sick and tired of the solemn (read that "funeral dirge-like") and personalized (read that "lots of notes that weren't in the original") renditions of The Star Spangled Banner being sung at sporting events these days?

 

I just witnessed...make that suffered through...the opening of the Blues/Blackhawks game (not my fault...a lightning-caused momentary power interruption sent my satellite receiver into reset and when it was done that's what was on and I was in the kitchen making a sandwich and couldn't change channels). This moron, who is probably some sort of opera singer, started out a little slow for my taste but at a reasonable tempo. When he hit "And the rockets' red glare" he slowed down. He slowed even more as he began the last stanza and more still as he sang "o'er the la-a-a-and of the free-hee-hee" (I'm not joking, that's what he said). Honestly, he sounded like he needed someone to stick a key in his back and wind him up again. I wasn't sure he'd make it through the whole song. I can sing it all in about a minute and a half. I've heard people take nearly five minutes. More than two and you're losing your audience. Sure, they'll cheer when you're done...because you're DONE!!!

 

Note to all you "artists" out there who want to do something with MY* national anthem: it's not a funeral march, it's a song of DEFIANCE! When Key wrote those words the United States was under attack. Fort McHenry was being bombarded ("the bombs bursting in air") by naval artillery, including the new Congreve rocket ("the rockets' red glare"). The poem was a kind of nose-thumbing, a kind of trash-talking. He was saying, "You think you're big and bad? You know where we are and we ain't goin' nowhere. Come get some." By the way, he wrote it while he was being held on a British ship. Right under their noses. Talk about defiance.

 

Another thing. It was first published not as a song but as a poem. But the music it was set to wasn't made later to fit the words. It was an old English drinking song. And I don't think that was an accident, I think Key wrote the poem to the meter of the song because he wanted to invoke the kind of bravado and euphoria that goes along with people having a good time and maybe getting a bit drunk. Have you ever walked into a bar and heard a lot of mopey, depressing music? I haven't. If you want to trill a little...a little...that's one thing. But when you're singing twice as many syllables as Key wrote there's something wrong.

 

Bottom line, sing it like it was written and like you're in a bar with friends, not like you're in a church.

 

*(I called it MY national anthem, but I'll share it with anyone who likes it. Just don't break it while you've got it, ok?)

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Haha...Yes.

 

Well, I've never been a huge fan of National Anthems. I mean, I can totally see the point of them and everything, and it's nice to have them played (though I think in a game between two teams from the same continent is a bit bizarre)....but yes. If you're going to play it..at least inject some life into it! :)

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 I hate with a passion when an artist tries to change the music from the way it was intended. i fully admit that the Star Spangled banner is not the catchiest tune but I can't stand when some pop star thinks it is ok to change things up. It is symbolic to me and when it is changed it rubs me the wrong way big time.It should be sung with passion and conviction but never personalized by an artist.

Edited by whiteknight06604

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Agreed, Whiteknight. How would Bruce Springsteen's fans like it if we crooned "Born to Run" like a ballad? Or the Stones' *Paint It Black"? Maybe we could do "Don't Worry, Be Happy" in a more Japanese style. There's a reason the songs became hits in the way they did. Change anything and you change everything.

 

**edit**

Oh, and that tune may not be easy, but I disagree that it's not "catchy" (as in recognizeable). All you need is the first three notes and you know what it is.

Edited by von Baur
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 I hate with a passion when an artist tries to change the music from the way it was intended. i fully admit that the Star Spangled banner is not the catchiest tune but I can't stand when some pop star thinks it is ok to change things up. It is symbolic to me and when it is changed it rubs me the wrong way big time.It should be sung with passion and conviction but never personalized by an artist.

 

The lyrics were originally written as a poem, not a song.  Only later were they set to the tune of a popular song of the era.  

 

So every time it's sung it's not the way it was originally intended. 

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The lyrics were originally written as a poem, not a song.  Only later were they set to the tune of a popular song of the era.  

 

So every time it's sung it's not the way it was originally intended. 

that is irrelevant to my point. the music is written down a certain way so when that is deviated from by an artist it is changing the song... no one was talking about the poem here. Every song was not a song until it was written as a song. There should not be a law against it I just find it disrespectful for an artist to add their own "touch" to the national Anthem . Of course someone can improve how it sounds...that is not the issue it's the fact that it has a history and a meaning and from one generation to the next it's the same. it's a tradition. Tell a bed time story to a child every night for a year...then one day change it and see the reaction. traditions have meaning to many people.

Edited by whiteknight06604

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Same feeling here. If anyone does a version of any anthem, let it be so, great, patriotic, everything you want to call it. But if you are to sing an anthem, sign THAT freaking anthem, it is not for your personal exhibition. In this particular case, maybe it is not the way it was meant to be song originally, if you want to think it this way. However that´s the way it has been as an anthem. 

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There should not be a law against it 

 

O'er the the land of the not quite so free?

 

Just my personal opinion but the way I see it if you make a law against putting your own spin on it then you fly in the face of what it stands for.

 

Craig

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O'er the the land of the not quite so free?

 

Just my personal opinion but the way I see it if you make a law against putting your own spin on it then you fly in the face of what it stands for.

 

Craig

reread what I said... i do not want a law against it. the full sentence "There should not be a law against it I just find it disrespectful for an artist to add their own "touch" to the national Anthem" wink2.gif.pagespeed.ce.DG-_ZgrqXc.gif

Edited by whiteknight06604
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to Milktrout:

What the heck is a milktrout?

Sorry, had to be said. But seriously:

Read my fourth paragraph:

 

 

It was first published not as a song but as a poem. But the music it was set to wasn't made later to fit the words. It was an old English drinking song. And I don't think that was an accident, I think Key wrote the poem to the meter of the song because he wanted to invoke the kind of bravado and euphoria that goes along with people having a good time and maybe getting a bit drunk.

 

Fact-Key was a lawyer and therefore good with words.

Fact-He'd been held on a British ship all night.

Fact-The tune The Star-Spangled Banner was set to was a popular British drinking song at the time.

Fact-The tune is somewhat awkward.

Fact-The lyrics fit the tune rather well. In fact, IMO they fit it better than the original words.

Reasonable supposition-There may have been some drinking going on among the British sailors. If so, there may have been some singing. If so, that song may have been sung.

Given all that, I think it's safe to assume that Key wrote the words to fit that particular tune. Or at least with that tune in mind. I don't know, I wasn't there. For that matter nobody alive was there, except maybe Shirley Maclaine (how many of you get that reference?). But as I said...I think we can assume that.

 

 

To fallenphoenix:

I know the feeling.

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