This past week Luke Bryan sang the Star Spangled Banner in front of millions during the All Star Baseball game in Kansas City. Take a look at a clip of him singing below.
Word has it, and he has confessed, that he looked at the words on his hand as well as his watch. Why? Well, because there is a lot of pressure on celebrities when they sing the National Anthem in the United States. It seems someone always has a problem with whomever is singing.
Mr. Bryan wanted to make sure that he didn’t mess up on the words. He also had to keep on pace so that the fly-over would be at the correct time. Again, a lot of pressure.
My question for Americans is: “Do you know the Star Spangled Banner by memory?” Could you really stand and sing it in front of ONE person without messing up? What about millions?
Yes, people say that celebrities should know the national anthem before they sing it at a large event. However, I say EVERYONE should know it AT ALL TIMES!
Take a look the video below from the England vs Slovenia (soccer) game in the 2010 World Cup.
EVERYONE in the stands sings their national anthem for BOTH countries. They are not standing and watching ONE person sing and then criticize them. Where did the United States go wrong?
Read what Clark Merrefield wrote in 2011 after Christina Aguilera flubbed the words at the 2011 Super Bowl.
Like “In God We Trust” on our currency, the Star Spangled Banner feels as old as the Republic, but its status as the national anthem is a relative new phenomenon. Francis Scott Key’s most famous writing, composed in 1814 as a poem called “Defence of Fort McHenry,” didn’t gain major traction until the Civil War, when it was played extensively by military bands. It lived on in the hearts and voices of soldiers after the war, some who lived until the early 1900s. By 1918 it was played for the first time at a baseball game, starting the modern tradition linking the song to sporting events, and in 1931 Congress declared it the nation’s anthem.
“Most people even today don’t really realize the song was written about a real flag and a real incident,” says Lonn Taylor, co-author of The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon and a former curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. “We did an exhibit at the Museum of American History on the preservation of the star spangled banner and we had this huge flag—it’s the size of a basketball court laid out flat—and big labels telling everyone what it was and we did an audience exit survey and half the people coming out thought they were looking at a flag made by Betsy Ross.”
So how many people, including those who sneered at Aguilera, can even recite the lyrics? I wound up putting the challenge to 73 adults, ranging in age from 19 to 80. Total number who claimed their $10 prize? Eight. As in, 11 percent.
ELEVEN PERCENT! 11%! 11 out of 100!
No matter how you put it, it’s sad. Why do we stand around and watch only one person (or sometimes a group) sing our national anthem? Why are we not like other countries and EVERYONE sing it?
I guess the main point I’m making is, don’t be a critic unless you are willing to stand up and sing our national anthem in front of just one person WITHOUT looking at the words.