A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Monday, January 07, 2008

off topic -- national anthems

Okay, so here's a bit of a hot topic that I can sort of call "non-hockey related", but in the end I'll spin it back to hockey anyway. The singing of national anthems is something that people in the United States just don't take seriously. It's really unfortunate.

I got to thinking about this partly because my friend Bill encouraged me to "write something political on the blog". Maybe he meant the other blog, which has been overrun with cobwebs. The place could use a fresh coat of paint, and the lawn hasn't been mowed in who knows how long. It's too embarrassing to bring people over there. I digress...

As the two major American political parties begin sorting out their nominees for the Presidential election this November, there's been a lot of early name-calling and finger pointing within the parties. The topic for today is the singing of the National Anthem. Apparently, Democratic hopeful Barack Obama did not place his right hand over his heart at a recent function when "The Star Spangled Banner" was being played. There has been some bickering about whether etiquette dictates the placing of the hand over the heart (it does), and some erroneous claims that he doesn't do it because he's Muslim (he's not). People are calling him, among other things, "unpatriotic". Whatever. That isn't the point. Amidst all that, nobody's really talking about fellow Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton and her horrific display last year in Iowa. Before you click "play", please remove all pets and small children from the room. And brace yourself.

Is "horrible" the precise word I'm looking for? No. I think it's "revolting". Apparently, not only is she singing badly, but she messes up the words. She says "Oh say does our star-spangled banner...." when it's supposed to be "...that star-spangled banner." We're all adults here, and while most of us are probably pretty lousy singers, at least we know the words to our own National Anthem. Furthermore, I would guess that most of us know all of the words to both "The Star Spangled Banner" and "O Canada". I know I'm not alone when I stand and sing (or at least mumble) BOTH anthems at games.

On that note, I've often marveled at the way Canadians loudly and proudly sing their anthem, and the way they put Americans to shame in that regard. Just look at this, and you can't deny it:

In my research, however, I happened upon this amazing clip of some Swedes belting it out on Saturday for the blue and gold. I think they give Canada a run for the money:

Get with it, Americans.

Now, to be fair, "The Star Spangled Banner" is a ridiculously crafted song with a range of one and a half octaves. That makes it a very difficult to sing well, and I sincerely applaud anyone who can. The least we can do, though, is make an effort. Hopefully, we're better singers than Hillary, but even if we're not, we should still sing.


Bill Purdy said...

Nice work, as usual.

Thanks for taking my suggestion!

magnolia_mer said...

Did you happen to notice that they sang "God Bless America" instead of the Anthem at the Winter Classic? I don't get that at all.

Ranger Rick said...

Maybe 10 years ago, I would have been singing along with the national anthem, but I'm so embarassed by our country I have a hard time doing so nowadays.

I'll stand there with my hand over my heart out for the purposes of etiquette, but despite being a US citizen and having lived here all my life, I only sing along to O, Canada.

WufPirate said...

Whenever the NCSU fans shout "RED!" (or even the few token UNC fans yell "BLUE") during "and the rockets red glare" will forever get on my nerves.

And I'm an NCSU fan (the Wuf in wufpirate).

John said...

Obama doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin, and he didn't put his hand over his heart! He must be with the terrorists!

I was thinking along the lines of ranger rick, that Americans don't have much to be proud of right now. But the leftist folk singer Woodie Guthrie wrote "This Land is Your Land" and celebrated the American *people* while fighting against the American economic system and the government that enforces it. I don't know what my point is; I'm just sayin' is all.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone here ever see this rendition?

d-lee said...

Yeah, Eric. That one's good stuff, but still it would have been cooler if they were singing instead of cheering during the song.


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