Shut up and Sing

Since the “Star Spangled Banner” became… the national anthem in 1931, singers have done nothing but complain.  The lyrics are confusing, the notes are too difficult, the verses too long….. no one likes to sing it.  There has been a concerted effort by performers for an easier anthem, far too many “talented” people have butchered the “Banner.”   “America, the Beautiful” is most often mentioned as a replacement, or at least a substitute.  Short verses, simple melody, and benign religious lyrics make it a favorite patriotic tune for performers.   Any attempt to change our national anthem would be a travesty, and “America the Beautiful” is not fitting music for a country like ours:

Try rehearsing the song, it shouldn't hurt this much

Try rehearsing the song, it shouldn’t hurt this much

  • “America the Beautiful” is a poem by Katherine Bates- composed in 1895, Bates’s lyrics describe the Rocky mountains, specifically Pike’s Peak
  • The tune is actually a hymnal written by Samuel Ward in 1882
  • The lyrics were not put to the hymnal until 1910
  • The poem has 5 stanzas, but  performers only sing one
  • “The Star Spangled Banner” is the national anthem by an act of Congress-  “America the Beautiful” is easier to sing
  • The religious lyrics do not fit well into the construct of a national anthem


Filed under Ephemera

3 responses to “Shut up and Sing

  1. Division of church and state – not to mention being politically correct! If someone can’t handle the song – they shouldn’t sing it. Re-arranging it to suit their voice shouldn’t be allowed, it isn’t a rock tune – it’s an anthem for your country.

    • Now we have so-so singer challenging the merits of the song for political correctness- but perhaps it is too much for them?

      • Like I said it’s not a song out of a Broadway play that should be rearranged at will. An anthem should be set in stone. My mentioning of PC=politically correctness, was tongue-in-cheek. PC is being using so much these days – everyone finds fault with something and is about to infringe on freedom of speech (IMO). If you can’t sing it right – don’t sing it.

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