Does America need a new national anthem? | The Tylt
Since it became America's national anthem in 1931, "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been criticized for many reasons.
Its enormous range makes it incredibly difficult to sing (even professional singers struggle to pull it off). Dick Cavett called "the most dismal, virtually unsingable dirge of a national anthem of any known nation." Many argue the lyrics glorify war—especially in an age of global terror, do we really want to be singing the praises of "bombs bursting in air" and "the rockets' red glare"?
Others think "The Star-Spangled Banner" is too secular, and say that "God Bless America" would be a much better national anthem. "America the Beautiful" has also been proposed as a better, more godly choice—why not highlight America's beauty as well as God's grace while you're at it? Populists, on the other hand, often propose we adopt the Woody Guthrie folk song "This Land is Your Land," which was actually written as a sarcastic retort to "God Bless America." And really ... doesn't the greatest nation in the history of Earth deserve better than an English drinking song as its theme?
But then again, when someone gets "The Star-Spangled Banner" right, it's so good (we're looking at you, Whitney Houston). Does the song's difficulty add to its greatness?
And some cultural critics argue that Francis Scott Key's search for the flag through the smoke of the bombs actually perfectly illustrates America's quest to make good on its promise of freedom and justice, even through the haze of violence and genocide. As one non-U.S. citizen noted, "You guys have an awesome national anthem about the importance of being American even when everything is on fire/exploding."
Does America need a new theme song?
Does America need a new national anthem?
Everytime I hear the star spangled banner I cry cuz it sucks— robirt (@HydratedRunner) April 19, 2016
We should pick a new song to represent our country. Star Spangled Banner sucks.— roberT (@robertriordan3) February 7, 2016
The national anthem sucks. America the Beautiful>Star Spangled Banner.— #VoteGreenIn2016 (@DWGreviews) February 7, 2016
Whitney's "Star-Spangled Banner" still gives me chills and watery eyes. John Clayton's arrangement SLAYS.— Steve Burks (@Steve_Burks) July 2, 2016
Jimi Hendrix plays the star spangled banner the best out of them all— Kenton Jr. (@KentonDurst) July 1, 2016
If you're ever sad, just sing the Star Spangled Banner, loud & with passion. You'll get this psychotic insane funny feeling. It's the best.— KT Pierce (@kt_pierce) June 14, 2016