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A ‘Reworked’ National Anthem at the Super Bowl?

Alicia Keys will sing our national anthem at the Superbowl on Sunday, and she has said it is actually a brand new song in the style that she’ll deliver it.  We don’t know what that means, if lyrics will be left out, changed, or if it’s just a publicity leak, as if the game needs any more publicity.

Or maybe she’ll sing it in a different l…

  1. Group Captain Mandrake

    The only “reworked” National Anthem that I ever liked (and played) was Sir Edward Elgar’s arrangement of the British National Anthem.  It sounded very much like the “original” but being by Elgar it had some rather elaborate writing for the brass.

     Have you seen this?

  2. HeartofAmerica

    I am pretty much a purist when it comes to the National Anthem. If an “artist” can’t sing it as written, then politely decline and let someone else sing it correctly. It can be sung beautifully so unsure why so many think they need to put their “special” spin on it or as the American Idol judges say it…”make it their own.”

  3. Mollie Hemingway
    C

    I love me some Alicia Keys and one of the things I love about her work is that she is deeply respectful of the rules and learns them before she breaks them. She has the chops to pull something like this off.

    It will go great if her work is  respectful of the national anthem. It will fail miserably if she’s trying to make a lame statement.

  4. Amy Schley
    HeartofAmerica: I am pretty much a purist when it comes to the National Anthem. If an “artist” can’t sing it as written, then politely decline and let someone else sing it correctly. It can be sung beautifully so unsure why so many think they need to put their “special” spin on it or as the American Idol judges say it…”make it their own.” · 18 minutes ago

    Keep in mind we’re talking about a tune that was originally sung for a drinking club …

    Defending the purity of our anthem is like defending the purity of the English language — it wasn’t exactly pure to begin with …

  5. Fake John Galt

    It could be interesting.  I always liked what Jimi Hendrix did with it and Whitney Houston’s version is noteworthy.  There is an album on Amazon called “The Star Spangled Banner – 30 Versions Of The World’s Most Famous Anthem” showing different artists adaptations.  Ms. Keys may contribute to the song or she may end up making a laughing stock of herself in the end it will be up to the American people to decide.

  6. Dave Carter
    C

    I will consider it new and refreshing if anyone can manage to leave out all the urban yodeling that seems to have infected practically every piece of music for quite some time now.

  7. Trace

    She’s an artist. That’s what they do. As FJG suggests, the anthem is bigger than Ms. Keyes and any excessive or pointless alteration will only reflect poorly on her. 

  8. She

    Frankly, I prefer the Jim Cornelison approach.

    And I think that makes me a purist.  Because I do understand that it was originally sung for a drinking club, and because I think the National Anthem should be still be a participatory event.  

    Not something before which we sit separate, slack-jawed and puzzled, watching some diva (who’s probably lip-syncing), emote and trill her way through an unrecognizable ditty (In Praise Of World Peace, of course!) that we don’t even recognize.

    Not something which we couldn’t possibly join in with if we wanted to, because the track wanders erratically from key to key and measure to measure, sounding like nothing so much as the lead song from a new Andrew Lloyd Weber musical.

    And especially not something before we sit in trepidation, wondering if or when a particularly tasteless performer is going to grab her crotch or experience a carefully planned wardrobe malfunction in front of the children.

    A little humility from the performer would not be amiss.

    Alicia Keys may be a fine singer. But, the National Anthem as ‘a brand new song in the style that I’ll deliver it.”?

    Oh please.  Spare me.

  9. KC Mulville

    enrico.jpgI’m still holding out for Enrico Palazzo.

    .

    God bless you, Leslie Nielsen, wherever you are.

  10. Tom Lindholtz

    There are certain pieces of music that have become invested with a meaning that is greater than any singer’s personal ego. We don’t need some lounge lizard’s “interpretation” of the song. We don’t need some artist’s styling of it. Part of it is that it isn’t THEIR song, it’s OUR song. That’s partly what She is getting at; it ought to be sung “straight” enough that, if we are patriotic, we can join in in OUR song. But you can’t do that if you don’t know where the tune or lyrics may be going next. And it is partly that this song isn’t about them; it is about our country. There are people who have, or will, lay down their lives to defend our country. That, at least, should be honored. And you don’t honor that by grabbing the spotlight for yourself.

    Sing it straight or pass the mike to someone who will.

  11. Johnny Dubya
    Dave Carter: I will consider it new and refreshing if anyone can manage to leave out all the urban yodeling that seems to have infected practically every piece of music for quite some time now. · 23 minutes ago

    Dave, “urban yodeling” is a new one on me, and I love it!

    As a musician, I like it when songs are re-interpreted, and I think it can be done respectfully with the Anthem.  A diva’s show-offy “runs”, however, are almost always cheesy and disrespectful, but I don’t like that kind of singing in any song.

  12. Casey

    My guess is that Keys will deliver the song in under 30 minutes… A Super Bowl record!

  13. tabula rasa

    If it is sung, say, in Spanish then it will have been politicized for someone’s (Keys’, the NFL’s) political agenda.

    Must we turn everything into a political event?

    Just play the stupid game and sing the song the way it’s supposed to be sung.

    It’s pretty sad when we can’t get an American singer to sing the song right.  Where’s Ronan Tynan when we need him?

  14. S

    I predict “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

  15. Whiskey Sam

    What would really be great is if the people in the stadium sang the song properly and drowned her out.  Either that or Ray Lewis could drop her like a sack of wheat for screwing with the national anthem.

  16. tabula rasa
    Casey: My guess is that Keys will deliver the song in under 30 minutes… A Super Bowl record! · 3 minutes ago

    Bold prediction.  

  17. Lamont Cranston

    I yearn for the day when the singer is introduced, and announces to the crowd:

    “This anthem represents us all–and should be sung by us all. Please note the words which are displayed on the Jumbotron behind me, and join me in singing….”

    Were I to indulge in extreme flights of fantasy, I’d dream of a team’s fans deciding to adopt the National Anthem (the way some soccer team’s fans in England have adopted “Jerusalem”, and the Boston Red Sox fans have adopted “Sweet Caroline”) and make a practice of all singing it–at the top of their lungs–to begin the game.

    (While a faery drill team mounted on rainbow-colored unicorns performed a quadrille on the playing field….)

  18. Roberto

    Place your bets now:

    Will Alicia Keys be booed? Yes is +500 (bet $100 to win $500)

  19. Innocent Smith

    I thought the super bowl was last week…

  20. Mollie Hemingway
    C
    John Murdoch: I yearn for the day when the singer is introduced, and announces to the crowd:

    “This anthem represents us all–and should be sung by us all. Please note the words which are displayed on the Jumbotron behind me, and join me in singing….”

    Were I to indulge in extreme flights of fantasy, I’d dream of a team’s fans deciding to adopt the National Anthem (the way some soccer team’s fans in England have adopted “Jerusalem”, and the Boston Red Sox fans have adopted “Sweet Caroline”) and make a practice of all singing it–at the top of their lungs–to begin the game.

    (While a faery drill team mounted on rainbow-colored unicorns performed a quadrille on the playing field….) · 9 minutes ago

    I could be wrong about this, but I recall that we did all join in to sing the national anthem in ages past. Like when I was a little kid. No?

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