Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crooning our National Anthem

Watching the televised production of “A Capitol Fourth” Monday (4 July 2011) evening I just knew what would happen the moment the singer chosen to sing our national anthem walked onstage. I was not disappointed.

A national anthem is supposed to get one’s blood flowing. It should cause one’s chin to rise, one’s shoulders to square. In sum, a national anthem should rouse one’s spirits and develop a heart filled with patriotic fervor.

Not so—this was not to be the case on our Capitol Fourth. Once again, the authorities selected a young African American girl who delivered our national anthem as if she were cooing to a baby. Or maybe it was more of a crooning one would expect to hear in a downtown night spot. Parts of her singing reminded one of joyous, exuberant psalm singing in a church choir. None of these styles, in my opinion is appropriate for the singing of our national anthem.

Not to pick on African American girls, I register the same unhappiness any time a singer of pop, reggae, country rock, whatever, stands before the microphone at a public gathering. These pop singers believe they should translate the notes and the beat of our anthem to fit their personal (commercial?) style of singing. Not so, my friends, reread para 2 supra.