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Hands off Star-Spangled Banner

Published: Fri, February 18, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Hands off Star-Spangled Banner

I have heard the National An- them sung many times, and if I had any inkling that it was going to be butchered by Christina Aguilara the way she did it, I would have hit the mute button in advance. Why do singers (and I used that word loosely) have to change the music to their own version with their screaming and gyrations? Maybe they should study the origin of the song and show some respect for what it represents.

Some songs should be sung as written and not to suit the whims of the performer. If a mother sang Brahm’s “Lullaby” while cradling her baby to sleep and changed the music to her own liking the kid would never get to sleep. Or how about changing Handel’s “Messiah” or “Silent Night?” Wouldn’t that be a disaster?

Some music is never intended to be changed. Our national anthem is one of those. Sing it the way it was intended to be sung. Is there a lawmaker out there that is willing to submit it to Congress and strongly recommended that it be performed as a national anthem with no personal renditions allowed?

I had members of my family serve in every branch of the service from the first World War through every conflict since then. Even lost a 19-year-old brother during WW II. Yes, he died that you would have your rights to freedom of speech, so honor him and all Americans by doing the “Star-Spangled Banner” with the respect and reverence it deserves.

John Grantonic, Poland


1CitizenJ(34 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Couldn't agree more. It's a disgrace to watch some of these "artists" sing Our National Anthem, and try to make it their's, and do all they can to "showcase their talents". The best performance of the Star Spangled banner I can remember recently was a playoff game of the Chicago Bears this year. I'm not sure who the man's name was that sang, he was an opera singer I believe, but he sang the song the way it was written, the way it was intended to be performed. He didn't add syllables and high notes, etc, he performed it respectfully and admirably.

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2peacelover(805 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I heard Faith Hill sing it beautifully too.

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3walter_sobchak(2181 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm no fan of Christina Aguilera, but this is overblown. It's not like she was wiping her a$$ with Old Glory on TV. She was on a big stage, her emotions got the best of her, and she screwed up the words! Big deal! She apologized! Jimi Hendricks made some mistakes on it at Woodstock too. The music for this song is very hard to sing. Personally, I wish "America the Beautiful" was our anthem. It speaks more fully on what this country is all about!

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4Ret(39 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree WalterS it was a little overblown as far as her forgetting the words,even though she is a professional performer you would think that a large audience won't spook her, but still it was a mistake and she was hardly the only professional who made a mistake that day on that field.(Just ask a Steeler fan) I do agree with CitizenJ too, that too many performers try to make it all about them and not about honoring America.

There are also other songs that could be a good alternative as our National Anthem, I've always liked God Bless America, but since it has God in the title that's probably politically incorrect. My Country this of Thee is great too, but since it has the same music as God Save the Queen, the Brits might take us to court over copy rights. I guess I'll stick with the National Anthem, it tells a great story and the crowd loves the last couple of lines of the song.

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5Jerry(616 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Responding to walter_s & Ret:

I don’t think the controversy is about mistakes with the words (at least not for me); mistakes are mistakes and can certainly be overlooked. I’ll agree with some of the posters above, the issue is the “artistic renditions” that we are forced to endure.

For me the national anthem is a song that is sung hand over heart, eyes on the flag, thinking about the meaning of the words and the sacrifices of millions of people who came before me that provide me with the privilege to live in freedom. It is not at all about the performance of the music, and to make it about the artist or the performance displays disrespect.

The “artists” who insist on presenting their “artistic interpretations” are narcissistic, self serving, and disrespectful.

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6Silence_Dogood(1478 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

"Maybe they should study the origin of the song and show some respect for what it represents."

I think Jimi Hendrick's version is far more off the beaten path then Christina Aguilara's version. Her's was a mistake but Hendrick's was intentional.Jimi spent a number of years in the 101st Airborne so I am sure that he knew just as much as anyone what old glory represented. He was a man that understood what FREEDOM was all about, and that it was not free. In his own way he showed a generation that the Flag/Nation was deserving of our respect.I love that song no matter who performs it or HOW they perform it , as long as it is done with respect.My ancestors washed ashore on this great land just before the Civil War and in EVERY generation they have answered the call to duty(myself included), during times of peace and in times of war. Several members died in war and several are buried in US Military Cemeteries.But there is no one version nor is there one interpretation of this song. We are a Nation of over 350,000,000, people so there are over 350,000,000 views as to how it should be performed. whose view do we go by?

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