Monday, February 07, 2011

Sing the National Anthem

Ms. Sandwalk has a thing about singing our national anthem, O, Canada. Not only does she think that every Canadian should sing along whenever it's played but they should do so in TWO languages!

It's really not that difficult. The words and the music are widely available on the internet and everyone sings from the same page.

Not so true in the USA as we see below. Christina Aguilera is singing just one of the hundreds of versions that are popular. You'd have to know in advance what version she was going to use if you want to sing along. Ms. Sandwalk is not happy.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming reaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
Oh so proudly we washed at the twilight's last reaming
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our a flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the nuh brave?

[Hat Tip: Greg Laden's Blog: Sing along with Christina Aguilera]


  1. I too have a 'thing' about singing the national anthem at NHL/CFL games.


    I am not impressed by using the anthem and all it stands for to sell beer - or market a professional product.

    If someone has to jump up and yoddel "oh Canada" ar every conceivable opportunity - then they have a problem, not the country.

  2. Re "The Star Spangled Banner": as Kurt Vonnegut once called it, gibberish sprinkled with punctuation marks (geez, that's the second time today I've had occasion to invoke Vonnegut).

    As for "O Canada": meh, I can only clearly remember the version I learned in grade school in the 60s. Then there's the bilingual version my kids were taught in the 90s, but that's not the official text. The official English text remains sexist and invokes mythical deities for protection -- and the French version is even worse!

  3. What bothers me even more than the trashing of the lyrics is the completely new music that each of these celebrities uses while singing the Anthem. John Stafford Smith's tune seems to be avoided at all cost by most celebrities. Many times it is impossible to know what song they are singing unless you can recognize some of the words.

  4. Some of the comments over at YouTube on that video are pretty disturbing. You'd think these hypersensitive "patriot" types were about to try Aguilera for treason for botching the anthem.

  5. Glen Beck didn't seem to care as much about the lyrics as he did about the fact that the football players should be focused on the anthem with their hands on their hearts. Personally I think the players should be focused on the game they're about to play, not on Christina Aguilera.

  6. It's hard to sing The Star-Spangled Banner no matter what you do. I don't think it falls within the range of anyone's natural register.

    I'm not surprised at the reaction. Anybody remember the drubbing Robert Goulet took in the 70s when he accidentally sang "by the dawn's early night"? I was watching US college football not long ago on a visit to my folks' place, and I couldn't believe it. When they sang the national anthem, they had the Marines there, they had an Air Force fly over... I mean, and this was for some commercially-sponsored, semi-pro football game, the Tidy Bowl or something. What the hell?? What did THIS cost a country borrowing like $2 billion a DAY from China and Japan? And shouldn't the Marines and the Air Force be over in Iraq so those National Guardsmen can be back where they belong? What the hell are they doing standing around on a friggin' football field in Douchebag, AK?

    @Eamon: They switched the lyrics of O Canada while I was in elementary school, when it was made official, so I remember both versions pretty well. Yeah, they brought God in, but we also acknowledged immigration for the first time. I was glad because we did way too much bloody "standing on guard" in the original version... they were like fill-in lyrics till the writer could come up with something else, and he never did. Even when I was a kid, the utter lack of anything else to say about the country struck me as embarrassing.