The Jangled Star Spangled
By Patricia Moloney Dugas
It would seem to be a good thing to start sporting events with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner. It is restorative to all – standing together, with flags and honor guards, saluting our military and the United States of America.
For that very reason, I bring attention to the growing abuse of this, our National Anthem. The choice of celeb’s seems to have precipitated a competition as to who can out-jazz the others. Some of their modernized renditions border on the irreverent if not sacrilegious. Francis Scott Key would never recognize these varied vibratos being bellowed through half-swallowed microphones – often off-Key, so to speak.
Why is this so? The crowd is already primed for pugilism; team spirit, tail-gating, and primed with libations. The solemnity of the moment is lost – often interrupted by the howling of the crowd during the final stanzas – as much as to say, “Let’s get on with the game!”
I am not recommending that we do away with The National Anthem, but let’s substitute something else – maybe “God Bless America” for sporting events. There can be a ‘star’ celebrity leading the song, but we can all join in the singing, and the idea of asking “God” to bless all of us together seems – rather nice.
Let’s leave the Anthem for solemn occasions; the Olympics, presidential, funereal, and military state of affairs. It was never intended for football.
Patricia Moloney Dugas, Freelance Writer in Palm Springs