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O’er The Ramparts…

When Christina Aguilera royally fumbled the national anthem last Sunday, I quickly remembered why I have never been impressed by her so-called singing talent. Now, granted, it is not easy to perform on a grand scale like this, but come on, she should have been more prepared. Did she take the gig and think she could just waltz on to the stage and render a patriotic piece flawlessly without some measure of preparation? And if she actually did prepare, does it mean that all the time she was doing it, she never bothered to figure out the exact words? Or was this a case of stage fright?

It couldn’t be, could it? I mean, performing in front of mammoth crowds is supposed to be her thing isn’t it? At any rate, after her miserable performance, I took the liberty of scouting for some better attempts. The Star Spangled Banner is a powerful and patriotic song—it deserves to be done right whenever it is done. Think about it—the Super Bowl is viewed in other countries as well, so it is only fitting that it be performed as close to perfection as possible.  But I hear you murmuring that you never learned the words to the song. Well here it is:

O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our 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 brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Luckily, all you are ever required to memorize is the first stanza—alas, even that is too hard for a great number of Americans. If you actually know all the other stanzas by heart, then I dare say, u deserve a medal!

So I started looking for past attempts (by figures in the music industry) to sing the National Anthem at sporting events.  Check out some of these past performances to see if their powerful rendition of the anthem was good enough to give u goose bumps.

Dixie Chicks:


Whitney Houston:


Jennifer Hudson:


Marvin Gaye:


Destiny’s Child:


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Posted on February 9, 2011, in Sports, US Matters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank You Godfather for totally agreeing with me. She should have be fully prepared to sing the song, just cause she a singer and she may think she knows the song that she is singing doesn’t mean anything. If anything it doesn’t hurt just to reread over the words a few more times before performing on one of the most important sporting event. SMH!!!!

  2. in her words, ‘ i’ve been practicing since age 7’ …..how old is she now??? Guess her priorities would have been the cloths she would wear, the public image she would create and never the mess she would cause….. hope its lesson learnt.

  3. To be honest i think she might’ve done this for publicity because I don;t see how she would accidently mess the national anthem up knowing that thousands of people from all over American and the world are watching her sing.

  1. Pingback: Happy 235th « Godfather's Panorama

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