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Stolen ‘National Anthem’

Should Congress enact a bill to change our national anthem?

I visited London, England and loved just about everything about it. But imagine my surprise when I found that our national anthem was a duplicate copy of theirs, saved the lyrics. The good ‘ole "Red, White, and Blue" puttin’ it down to someone else’s tune. Uh-uh, not good, America.

Aside from our shared language, a few customs and a legal system, we have little in common. The steering wheel of their cars is on the right side. They drive on the wrong side of the street. Their taxi cabs look weird. And, they chop off their words when they speak.

Have you ever eaten their food? Don’t. You really have to work at it to make food taste that awful. However, culinary experts say their food’s getting better. I say they still have a ways to go. I bet our Olympians returned home a dress/pant size smaller by forgoing their grub. Yet, we’ve gone and copied their country’s swan song. By the way, isn’t that copyright infringement?

That is ugly. So here’s what I propose. We have a contest to come up with a ‘new’ national anthem. Better still, we get the states involved and make it a competition. Each state will come up with its own version of a national song. And the grand prize for the winning state will be to have their deficit erased for the next ten years.

No doubt, we’ll need to handicap some states. New York simply has too many creative geniuses to be in the mix (sorry L.A.). Maybe they could be judges. If the buck stopped with me, I’d commission Andrew Lloyd Webber (The Phantom of the Opera) or Quincy Jones (27 Grammys) to do the honors. Even try and get them to collaborate on a national song.

Hey, wouldn’t it be great if we could get together those voices on the We Are The World track to produce an anthem? OK, I’ll admit I don’t have all the answers. But one thing is certain—we’d have a national anthem that would be our very own.

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Lauren October 09, 2012 at 03:05 AM
The tune you're referring to is "To Anacreon in Heaven," which was a popular pub tune at the time. It had been composed by John Stafford Smith in the 1700s for the Anacreontic Club, which met regularly at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in England. The original lyrics were pretty amusing and dedicated to Anacreon, a Greek lyrical poet as well as his connection with the Greek god of wine. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem (originally known as "Defenders of Fort McHenry") that became our anthem independent of the tune. However, it wasn't long after the poem was written that an actor sang it to this tune at Baltimore's Holliday Street Theater. After finishing, the company re-enacted the bombing of Ft. McHenry. I know that this article is all in good fun, but I thought it would be neat to share some of the background. I kind of love that this is our national anthem because the whole thing is sort of a mockery of British superiority. Who else has a national anthem that has a connection to a pagan god? Hehe. (Shameless self-promotion: I wrote a section on this in my book Wicked Baltimore: Charm City Sin and Scandal) Thanks, Lauren Silberman
Shaka Zulu October 25, 2012 at 04:56 PM
thanks Lauren that is some good information, love to learn something everyday. The star spangled banner is fine we do not need another anthem in my opinion.

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