Friday, January 27, 2012

let's all rise for the discussing of our national anthem

A few days ago, I talked about Steven Tyler's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the AFC championship game. Without going into detail, I discussed the things that annoy me in anthem-singing. So, here are some details.

The thing that bothers me most is when the singer is purposely disrespectful to the anthem. Of course, this is exceedingly rare; the only such occurrence that comes to mind is Rosanne Barr back in 1990:
Now, some will argue that it's silly to start sporting events with the national anthem, so it's fitting to make fun of it. I agree that you can make a good case against singing the anthem at ballgames. But given that you are singing it, you should do it with respect. Of course, if you pay to have Rosanne sing the national anthem, you shouldn't be surprised if you get Rosanne singing the national anthem.

Barring outright disrespect, I think what bothers me the most is when a singer tries to stylize it so much that it effectively becomes a different song. R. Kelly came close to that:
It's easy to list forgetting the words (or getting the words wrong) as an annoyance. For me, that depends on whether the singing is being done by a professional or an amateur. If it's an amateur I am in favor of cutting some slack. Hey, you go in front of thousands (or tens of thousands) of fans, maybe you're on TV. You get nervous. If you're not a professional, it's likely you get flustered. I expect more from a Michael Bolton or a Christina Aguilera.

There are also a couple of nitpicky things that annoy little ol' anal-retentive me. First is the word "perilous." For some reason, it is rare that singers pronounce that correctly. they ususally sing "pero-lous" pronouncing the first two syllables like the name of former presidential candidate Ross Perot, or "perilless" which means "without peril." The other nitpicky annoyance is when scoreboards flash the words so the crowd can sing along, but get the punctuation wrong. There are questions in the anthem, and rarely do I see a question mark.

At any rate, let's end things with a montage:

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