There is only one National Anthem of the United States of America. There is only one way that it should be played. It should always be played by a traditional marching band in a military fashion, with precision, brightness, and an almost staccato sense of purpose.
No warbling soul singers. No lisping local yokels. No fourth place flushes from American Idol. The only exception I will make is Jimi’s version from that Monday morning in August of 1969 on Max Yasgur’s Betheny, New York, farm. Methinks I can really hear the bombs and the rockets exploding all round when I listen to his version. Any other rendition, remix, or retread is just plain old shit.
I learned way later in life that what we all know as our National Anthem wasn’t officially adopted as such until a Congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, made it so. Francis Scott Key wrote the poem in 1814. The Navy recognized it for official use in 1889. Wonder what was the source of delay?
The song, or I should say, the poem that Francis Scott Key wrote, has three more stanzas beyond the one we all sing at sporting events. I actually know the last stanza. I had to commit it to memory for a grade school project, I think. Anyway…….
Happy Fourth of July, one and all. Have fun and above all, stay safe.