Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Flag Day!

No one seems to have mentioned the fact that today is Flag Day (Canadian friends are excused from knowing that). There are others far better educated/equipped to write about the flag, patriotism, history, and related areas, so I will leave it to them.

In the area that I do know something about (music), I can only say this: the Star Spangled Banner should be banished from the lips of all Americans. They can't sing it. Only opera singers, trained for dozens of years, should be allowed to attempt it. And under NO circumstances should any of the current crop of pop "singers" even try. Jimi Hendrix had the right idea. He knew he couldn't sing it vocally, so he let the guitar do it for him. (As an aside, it's ironic that for all the controversy his version brought, one of the branches of the Armed Forces actually used it in the background of one of their recruitment commercials!)

And why do we sing a song about a flag for our national anthem, rather than about the country itself? Do Canadians sing about maple leafs blowing through the air? The poem (lyrics) are heroic enough, and if you actually read all the verses, it's a fine piece of prose. But as a national anthem, it's terrible! Yes, the flag is a symbol of America, so let's honor them both with a decent piece of music!!

I suppose the final irony about the song is that the tune is actually an old English drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven". Which is appropriate, since the only way for the common folk to sing it well is to be inebriated. So lift your pints high, and sing for Flag Day!
iTunes: Lucretia MacEvil, Blood, Sweat & Tears

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