The national anthem

gandle(4 NE)February 7, 2011

Why, when someone sings the national anthem at major sporting events they try to make as many syllables out of one syllable words as they can? A disaster at the super bowl yesterday, she forgot a lot of words and tried to make up for it by drawing every word out.

It is difficult enough to sing properly in any case but making multi-syllable words out of one sure doesn't help.

Guess the tune was from an old english drinking song, maybe if youv'e had enough to drink it would be easier.

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anneliese_32(6)

Most of these singers could not keep the tune if they did not sing around it. The National Anthem has a difficult melody, so the entertainers try to cheat and since then melody and words don't mesh, they stutter the words. The organizers would be better of if they asked a local high school choir to sing.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 7:07PM
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west_gardener

My dh was settling down to watch the game, hot dog and chips in hand. He heard the singer flubb the words to the National Anthem, sat straight up and said "sing it the way it was written".

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 7:19PM
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mjmercer

It's called melisma, Gandle. It is the scourge of every "real" professional singer I know...and I've known quite a few. It's generally agreed that melisma is used by people who are more interested in showing off than in interpreting the melody and lyrics as they were truly intended by the composer.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2011 at 7:56PM
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sheila(WA7)

West - perhaps since the National Anthem was being sung (flubbed words or not) he should have stood up! Hot dogs and chips in hand notwithstanding.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:07PM
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rob333

Personally, I'm dismayed by those who don't sing it at events I attend. My son and I stand, hats off, hands over heart singing outloud and proudly. It's really sad so few sing it. Who cares if it's on key or not? It's our homeland! Be proud! Although, I do always cry at the end, and some doesn't come out. I love America. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:19PM
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mwoods

Frank Sinatra used to skim over notes the same way,as did Dean Martin and so many of the other oldies. It's been around a long time,not just today and I don't think it has anything to do with the talent of the singer..it's just a style. Each generation puts it's own twist on it.When Ella does it it's beautiful. I wish Christina hadn't flubbed the words but she is definitely a talent and I give her credit for getting up there in front of the entire population of the world and singing it. I think the sad thing will be when it's no longer sung at events.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 12:42PM
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agnespuffin

It's my feeling, perhaps I'm wrong, that the Anthem would be held in more respect if it were sung that way. The difference between effect when done by a military chorus (or even a High School Glee Club)and a jazzy rendition by the Favorite-of-the-Day, is overwhelming.

Sometimes, it seems to be just another piece of trash that's thrown in to use up time.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 1:36PM
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mjmercer

I don't think anyone could ever confuse the masters of the Great American Songbook with Christina Aguilera. There's a reason they are called masters.

Karen

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:06PM
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calliope(6)

I don't mind a little melisma here and there for effect (thanks Karen, a new word for my vocabulary). I find the use of it repeatedly throughout any song very distracting to the integrity of a good piece of music, however. I'd have the same impression listening to a bagpiper ornament every other note. IOW, a constant bombardment of it makes it lose effectiveness where it would be otherwise a lovely insertion.

Ms. Aguilera.....well.....flubbing the line to a song one knows has happened to every vocalist or musician I've ever known. My husband, who often does vocal solos, always carries his music with him when he sings, and uses it regardless of how well he knows the piece. I give her credit for not losing her cool and picking up the ball an moving forward with it without missing a beat.

But all that being said, there are certain things one handles with special dignity and should not be reduced to an article of entertainment value. The national anthem (ours or any other country's) is one of them.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:07PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

I was intrigued to read observations in the UK papers - readers were puzzled as to why anyone was needed to sing the anthem: Over There the band strikes up, and the entire crowd sings. I know the Star Spangled Banner is a tricky tune, but surely everyone in the crowd knows how to sing it?

It's pretty exciting when you get an entire stadium singing the same tune, and it seems a shame to leave it to just one person.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:42PM
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mwoods

I agree Sara. Can you imagine the SuperBowl crowd singing that one together..well as many of them that knew it. I was looking at some of the history of the Star Spangled Banner and Nat King Cole made the comment that whatever any performer does,he or she should never try to sing it.I love God Save The Queen/Our Country Tis of Thee..a beautiful song.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:56PM
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rob333

They're just supposed to lead the singing. Not do the singing. Maybe that's the trip up, why others don't sing???

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 2:58PM
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calliope(6)

Exactly, Rob. They are supposed to lead it, not to render it as an entertainment. Sara, at one time, not so long ago, the entire audience would have sung along. It was our custom as well but is falling by the wayside. The last classical concert I attended was started with an orchestral version of it and about half of the audience did sing it, as I always do, no matter who is standing on the stage. This concert was held at a university chapel and I will say that as I scanned the audience, not one person under thirty was singing. I don't think it was anything intentional or had any meaning other than I don't think they even knew that was acceptable or even desirable. I think many Americans have the same wonder about why Brits are hesitant to fly their flags. My SIL said outward displays of patriotism often solicit remarks that's it can be considered un-PC

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 4:42PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

Thanks for the background suzy - maybe we need to encourage a revival of crowd participation.
Yes, sadly, your SIL is right: there are so many bad connotations with the Union Flag, with hangovers of our colonial past, and co-opting by neo-nazi groups, that it gets a bit tricky to fly it, except at sporting or royal events. Not to mention, the English flag of St George has all sorts of unhappy connotations with Crusaders.

Maybe we need a new one!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 6:12PM
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west_gardener

sheila, dh was singing the National Anthem along with Christina Aguilera, he noticed right away that she was flubbing the words. What can I say, he's an old Eagle Scout and he knows the words to the National Anthem.
I'll tell him what you suggested.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 7:18PM
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west_gardener

rob333, I think you've got it. It would be nice if it was a sing_a_long.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 8:15PM
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gandle(4 NE)

Yes, thanks Karen for the new word. I'm really hoping to use it tonight in a Scrabble game.

I too always stand with my hand over my heart and sing along, it truly doesn't matter the quality of the voice it is the idea of joining in.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 10:57PM
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lilod(NoCal/8)

I am a naturalized American citizen and so the National Anthem came to my by default. I accept it, but it is hard to sing and really doesn't touch the soul of this country IMHO, but it is not for me to say.
The German National Anthems were chauvinistic and "The Horst Wessel Lied' plain belligerent, so I am rather neutral on this subject.
For Spirit and emotion I do like The Marsaillaise and Waltzing Matilda.
Wish mine was "America, the Beautiful"

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 11:13PM
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kathyjane(z6VA)

Stand up, stand up!
Let your heart warm your hand.
The tune comes to mind through the haze
of un-natural melodies of todays' generation,
search back to the time when it rang clear and true.
Let your voice find it and sing out.
One day it may no longer be heard, however mawkishly it's presented.
Just an old fogey's take....

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 9:36AM
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don_socal

I always long for the great solo voice singing in the traditional manner over the loud speakers and the crowd singing along for sports venues. Would also like to hear "America the Beautiful" and "My Country Tis of Thee" leading up to the "National Anthem". Usually brings a tear for various reasons.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2011 at 11:09AM
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west_gardener

Don_socal, I agree that I would also like to hear "America the Beautiful" and "My Country Tis of Thee" leading up to the "National Anthem". DH was a boyscout and was taught all the songs. He carried it forward and when he became a cub/boy scout leader, he taught them all the songs. I have fond memories of all the boys(including our boys) in my living room singing while DH was sitting at the piano playing the music.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 7:40PM
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west_gardener

I'm thinking aloud.Our DD is the only one in the family that can carry a tune. In fact, she is a very good singer. She was a cheerleader and in the choir in middle and high school.I was the brownie/scout leader for her troup, but I can't recall ever teaching the troup the anthems.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2011 at 8:25PM
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west_gardener

It seems that this young lady may have some problems that I did not know about. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aguilera arrested,

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 6:55PM
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minnie_tx

I'm sure by now you have all heard these girls sing it
Sorry if this has been posted before

Here is a link that might be useful: YouTube - The Cactus Cuties sing The National Anthem Original Video

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 12:06AM
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west_gardener

It seems to me that "
The Cactus Cuties " chose to sing the Anthem their way.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:11PM
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