Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Christina Aguilera Flubbing The National Anthem

Even though I was still smarting from the Chicago Bears' devastating playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, I decided to watch The Super Bowl this past weekend. Part of me held on to the slim hope that the Steelers might serve up some humble pie to those cheese heads. Also, I wanted to catch the Motorola Xoom commercial in the hopes that it might reveal some cool Android 3.0 features. I was disappointed in both respects.

Infinitely more disappointing, however, was Christina Aguilera's rendition of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. When she appeared on stage to sing it, I initially thought that they had gotten Cindi Lauper to sing. I wish it had indeed been Lauper who was singing because she would have done a marginally better job and I guarantee you that she would have known all of the words. Christina Aguilera quickly issued a statement which essentially stated that she had been caught up in the moment and lost her place. Some tabloids have hinted that Aguilera had a bit too much to drink beforehand and her slight tipsiness was the cause of her colossal screw-up. I actually believe Christina Aguilera on this one.

I'm going to sound like an angry old-man for saying this, but the problem began with Whitney Houston's rendition of The Star Spangled Banner during Super Bowl XXV. Instead of leading the crowd, Whitney Houston decided to make the anthem her own by singing it with fancy embellishments that went against the natural rhythm of the song. And it worked; Whitney Houston's version of The Star Spangled Banner became a Top 20 hit. The problem is, every singer who followed has felt the need to ham-bone through the song because they see the gig as an opportunity to showcase themselves. Christina Aguilera was no exception and, in her rush to put out a performance rather than sing the song as it was intended, she messed up.

There's a reason why the lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner were set to the tune of a popular drinking song: because it's easy for a common person to sing and it sounds best when sung by a crowd. Any singer, regardless of their level of talent, who tries to make it their own is suffering from a delusion. The Star Spangled Banner does not and should not belong to any one person. It belongs to the people of The United States and it holds more significance when it's sung together. That's what we need to get back to. So, get up there, sing the song as if you're leading a choir, and, for God's sake, make sure you know the freaking words.

If my sentiments on this matter make make sound like little more than a grumpy old man, well, then GET OFF MY LAWN!

That being said,  how long until Star Spangled Banner: Tha' Remix is available for digital download from your favorite online retailer?

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