Sunday, September 14, 2014

Oh, Say Can You See...?

Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangl...
Cover of sheet music for "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Francis Scott Key, transcribed for piano by Ch. Voss, Philadelphia: G. Andre & Co., 1862 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today is the anniversary of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. It is our National Anthem. No matter what complaints and gripes I hear about it, I still swell with pride when I hear the initial phrase begin and the words are usually corrupted by the tears in my voice. I was never a singer anyway, but I'm impressed by it.

Rosanne Barr made a spectacle of herself when she performed it at a Padres games in 1990. It was supposed to be funny, but I found it both disrespectful and embarrassing. I sorta felt sorry for whoever contracted that deal. He or she probably got a reputation of inappropriate public awareness from it. I can't believe the players were thrilled by it, and certainly the service personnel could not have been inspired. Altogether it was a flop. Nobody has repeated it in such a manner since 1990.

A lot of verbiage has been spent on complaints about the difficulty of singing the song and the complexity of the language. To me this means we have a wonderful opportunity to teach children and all citizens about who Francis Scott Key was and the importance of the War of 1812. And by the way, the poetry of the song's four verses and what they mean. Somehow we have missed something in our value of the meaning of music, words, and patriotism. It still bugs me that the First Lady does not honor the flag with a salute. 

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