Does America need a new national anthem? | The Tylt

Does America need a new national anthem?

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?

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Does America need a new national anthem?
#DitchOurAnthem
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepOurAnthem
Dataviz
Real-time Voting
Does America need a new national anthem?
#DitchOurAnthem
#KeepOurAnthem
#DitchOurAnthem
Some people just think it's a terrible song, period.
#DitchOurAnthem
#DitchOurAnthem
Many think there are better options available.
#KeepOurAnthem
For many, Whitney's rendition makes it worth keeping.
#KeepOurAnthem
Context is everything.
#KeepOurAnthem
Jimi Hendrix managed to turn the song into an antiwar, anti-establishment protest.
#KeepOurAnthem
It's melodramatic and over-the-top, but then again, isn't America?
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Does America need a new national anthem?
#DitchOurAnthem
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepOurAnthem