Star spangled tortureFebruary 5th, 2013 |
Okay, seriously. It's time to realize something. The Star Spangled Banner has lyrics strung together by a lawyer who in his spare time dabbled in "poetry" and is set to an essentially unsingable melody. WHY do we continue to use it? It simply isn't very good. In fact, imho, it stinks. When 90 percent of the populace can't sing an anthem, and I mean all the notes, then there's a problem.
Actually, the why of it is pretty clear. Woodrow Wilson, a man not known for his appreciation of music, or anything else in the recreational line, made it the national anthem by executive order in 1916. If it had simply remained a tune for military bands it would have been fine. But insisting on words to be sung along with it – now that's unreasonable punishment.
Alicia Keys got critiqued this past weekend for daring to attempt to make it actually, well, a song. She did a great job, imho. However, if it takes a professional to do it; there's something wrong.
Look. We passed prohibition and then realized it was a mistake. So we removed it. I say it's time to realize the same thing has happened with the Star Spangled Banner as National Anthem. Let's take a second stab at it. Requirements? A stirring melody. Maybe get Hans Zimmer to do it. Evocative lyrics. A musical range that EVERYONE can handle. Now THAT would be something I'd be willing to sing about.