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Overwhelming majority favors keeping "Star Spangled Banner".
February 1, 2001 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Overwhelming majority favors keeping "Star Spangled Banner". Not fresh (1998 poll) but the topic has come up here several times recently. (more inside)
posted by dhartung (12 comments total)

 
Ted Turner proposed a national vote to choose an anthem back in 1997, a vote which the poll shows would surely be a non-starter, and a comment which (judging by a web search) has earned him universal derision from a certain flag-waving crowd .. well, those people hated him anyway. But a 1990 essay argues persuasively for a change, based not solely on the lyrics, but on the melody, and the historical origin. And does it surprise you to learn that The Star Spangled Banner was only made our official anthem seventy years ago next month? On March 3, 1931, Congress elevated it over the previous anthem, America ("My Country 'Tis of Thee"), which though almost a century old, had the disadvantage of having borrowed its tune from God Save the King. Besides that, and the other three candidates polled (America the Beautiful; God Bless America; and This Land is Your Land), any other candidates?

Me, I don't mind the song that much -- though I prefer the sensibilities of Guthrie. Indeed, the Jimi Hendrix version sends shivers up my spine. It just bugs me that it's so darned unsingable.
posted by dhartung at 8:38 AM on February 1, 2001


I'm all for making "America, The Beautiful" our national anthem...but only if Ray Charles sings it every time at every public event. Take that, Backstreet Boyz.
posted by RakDaddy at 8:56 AM on February 1, 2001


Are we the Russians now or something? The anthem is as much an icon of the United States of America as our flag. While it may only be 70 years old (as our anthem) I think it's stupid to go changing it every time a tycoon has nothing else to spend his/her time on.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2001


Interesting...down where I'm from in South Carolina, the national anthem might as well be Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American," since that's what you'll usually end up hearing at any public event.
posted by kevincmurphy at 10:14 AM on February 1, 2001


I like the Onion's take: "Unsingable Song of Explosions and Defeat Chosen As National Anthem."

From "Our Dumb Century."

posted by jbushnell at 2:25 PM on February 1, 2001


My vote is for 'Shook Me All Night Long'...
posted by black8 at 2:38 PM on February 1, 2001


The title, actually, Kevin, is "God Bless The USA", and of all the songs I've heard posed as a replacement national anthem, for me personally, that's the only one I'd vote for.

The fact that I can tear it up has nothing whatever to do with the matter. :-)
posted by baylink at 6:42 PM on February 1, 2001


The title, actually, Kevin, is "God Bless The USA", and of all the songs I've heard posed as a replacement national anthem, for me personally, that's the only one I'd vote for.

I have to admit that, although that song is a blatantly manipulative piece of patriotic schmaltz, it's damn catchy and it always brings a hint of a tear to my eye. I think it's too "pop" for a national anthem, though, and I would object to it on the grounds of the word "God" being in the title.
posted by kindall at 6:54 PM on February 1, 2001


Unfortunately, "C'thulhu bless the USA" doesn't scan.
posted by rodii at 8:29 PM on February 1, 2001


Why not get the Swedish bloke who writes all the Britney/Backstreet/NSync tunes to come up with an alternative? It'll be catchy and singable, no doubt.

(In the meantime, I'm still in favour of replacing God Save The Queen with the Archers theme.)
posted by holgate at 10:17 PM on February 1, 2001


Following holgate's suggestion, i propose "Oops I did it again" as the new national anthem. The song matches well with America.
posted by tamim at 11:37 PM on February 1, 2001


Why not get the Swedish bloke who writes all the Britney/Backstreet/NSync tunes to come up with an alternative?

uh uh. that would be time for me to move to Canada. I used to know their anthem. In French.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:16 AM on February 2, 2001


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