Does America need a new national anthem? | The Tylt
Since it became our national anthem in 1931, people have criticized "The Star-Spangled Banner." Many say it glorifies war and white supremacy (just check out that racist third verse). Religious folks complain it's too secular; why not sing "God Bless America" or "America The Beautiful"? The song's huge range also makes it nearly impossible to sing, but when a singer gets "The Star-Spangled Banner" right, it's so good (we're looking at you, Whitney Houston). Does America need a new theme song? 🇺🇸 🎤
Does America need a new national anthem?
Critics say our anthem is just a crappy song. Dick Cavett called it "the most dismal, virtually unsingable dirge of a national anthem of any known nation." Many argue the lyrics glorify violence—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"?
the star spangled banner sucks in comparison to every european national anthem sorry— that bitch (@chidori69) April 18, 2017
When even professional singers struggle to pull it off, maybe we should reconsider "The Star-Spangled Banner." Isn't it important to have our anthem be a song people can actually sing?
No one ever sings the third verse and now we know why. Can we get a non-racist theme song for America, please?
Practically no one can sing "The Star-Spangled Banner"—even professional singers struggle (American Songwriter described it as "a vocalist’s nightmare). But does the song's difficulty add to its greatness? When performers actually manage to hit that high note, it's a stirring, chills-down-your-spine moment, even for people who roll their eyes about the land of the free.
And some cultural critics argue that Francis Scott Key's search for the flag through the smoke of the bombs actually ends up being a perfect metaphor for 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."
Religiously minded Americans say "God Bless America" would make a much better national anthem. "America the Beautiful" has also been proposed as a more accessible, godly choice.
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 song?
The national anthem sucks. America the Beautiful>Star Spangled Banner.— Wrestling Geek (@DWGreviews) February 7, 2016
But for many, Whitney's historic rendition makes the anthem a song worth keeping.
so like fuck america but damn if whitney's star spangled banner really doesn't get me hype tbh. god i miss her yall.— David (@bisexualezio) June 19, 2017
For others, context is everything.
Jimi Hendrix, for example, managed to turn the song into an anti-war, anti-establishment protest.
Jimi Hendrix plays the star spangled banner the best out of them all— Jr (@KentonDurst) July 1, 2016
Sure, it's melodramatic and over-the-top, but then again, isn't America?
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