So since reading this article in Parade Magazine on Sunday the thought of a new national anthem keeps coming back to my mind. I remember in high school in band being asked to practice the national anthem for probably the thousandth time in my life and piping up to my band teacher about being sick and tired of playing this song again and again and couldn't we play something else like God Bless America before the football games. Well it's still embarrassing to me today that she pretty near ripped me a new one in front of my classmates about when she hears the song she feels pride and yada, yada, yada keep my crazy unpatriotic opinion to myself, shut up and play. I also probably feel bad that Joe even later said something to me probably along the lines of "why do you have to start stupid shit like that?" I don't know; I was just being belligerent I suppose.
I don't think I meant any malice towards our country's anthem but I also don't think I understood just how meaningful the song was until I reached the ripe maturity of adulthood. I will tell you now that one of my biggest pet peeves is people being disrespectful during it's play. Kids at sporting events are the worst but adults are sometimes no better. Just stand there and shut up for one minute people! Drives me insane.
Anyways, I guess I was only 20 years ahead of the masses when I questioned my band director about this. However, as much as I love God Bless America and America the Beautiful, The Star Spangled Banner is what I want to hear even if million dollar celebrities or school choirs continue to butcher it. Since I don't have to play it everyday in band class I've grown to love it and love the way it makes me feel when an assembly sings along.
What do you think? Is it time to retire Francis Scott Keyes version? BTW, I teach a student who is related to said author. And who doesn't swell with pride when they finally get to "o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave" when we do get an excellent singer to deliver it?