“The Star Spangled Banner” is just not good music and the text glorifies war. But I suspect most people who defend it couldn’t care less about whether it’s good — from a musical standpoint — or not. To such shallow people, it’s all about “Amurrrrrrka” and fake-patriotism and ugly nationalism and mindless flag-waving. Many of the flag-wavers couldn’t begin to tell you who their Congressional Representatives or Senators are or anything about their policies while they pretend to be “patriotic” and play The Patriotic Card. Most merely operate on their devout D or R brainwashed partisanship, which is like another religion to most of them. That’s the truth and the truth hurts.
Hola a todos. While monuments glorying slave owners and repression are being torn down, some people are calling for a new national anthem in the country without a name. As mi amigo/my friend said: Well first, they’ll have to come up with a legitimate name for the country, rather than some “United States” of the hemisphere called América. “United States” is not a real name. That just means that some states are supposedly “united.” Just by neighbouring each other? The Hemisphere called América consists of Norteamérica/North America, Centroamérica/Central America and Sudamérica/South America. The “united states” that they are referring to are part of North América. The conservatives/far-right and the cultists of the orange thug say, “There is only one America.” Those flat-Earthers don’t believe in maps either, so consider the source! And even many fake-progressives and fake-liberals — who are nothing but Establishment Democrats at “election” time as they support their corporatist and imperialistic right-wing party — use the term “America” on a regular basis. Many people refer to this country as “America” which is arrogantly stealing the name of the entire Hemisphere for one imperialistic and corrupt country’s name. All other countries have a specific name: France, China, Russia, México, Argentina, United Kingdom, España and so on. This country does not. As some of my Latino friends say, “The country with no name.” Yes, that describes “the states of a hemisphere” known as the dis-United States. Because the US is about as dis-united as it can possibly be.
Here are the words to “The Star Spangled Banner”:
“O say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
What a bunch of bunk. This anthem has nothing remotely to do with “patriotism” as one former war criminal illegitimate “president” tw**ted. Why isn’t he in prison? Because messiah Obama — who greatly expanded the Bush/Cheney neocon agenda — wanted to “look forward and not backward.” Remember that? Today the Bush and Obama families are best of friends as you can see in these images. Michelle and George share candies at state funerals. I wouldn’t expect illegitimate George W Bush of the Bush Crime Family to know the difference between genuine patriotism and ugly nationalism. Ask him about the difference between the two and you’d get a blank stare. This anthem is about rank nationalism. It’s about worshipping a flag and imperialistic war. As far as the rubbish about the troops dying for this anthem, that is nonsense. It’s Orwellian political-speak. It’s BS. No troops died for any flag, or for “freedom” for that matter. That’s just feel-good pabulum for the sheeple. Our freedoms are guarantee in the US Constitution, what little remains of it. The flag has nothing to do with our freedoms. That’s just feel-good pabulum that the sheeple are fed. Troops have died for US imperialism and the banks of lies told for each imperialistic war.
Why does the dis-United States need an anthem that glorifies wars (“bombs bursting in air”) and US nationalism (“our flag was still there?”). If only people could get as worked up over the US Constitution as they do a piece of cloth called the flag. Then there’s that fictional part about the “Land of the free and home of the brave.” Dream on. I don’t think most Black residents feel “free” when they’re getting hung, shot, tasered, knelled on, getting their head bashed in or when they find a noose in their garage. Musically speaking, the “Star Spangled Banner” is trash. It’s tacky and poorly written music. It’s difficult to sing because it’s all over the scale musically with its extreme vocal range. And most people who are into singing it don’t know the words as they dutifully stand with their “hand over their heart.” (roll eyes). Fact: The heart is a muscle. It has no feelings (except when having a coronary), even though some people talk about “that’s close to my heart” and that syrupy drivel. When people mislabel their heart, they’re really talking about the brain and or some feelings in their body (heart burn, gastric reflux, indigestion).
As much as this country is in love with Britain and the Royal Family — the extremely narcissistic basura in the Black House on Pennsylvania Avenue in the District of Columbia demanded a State Visit — it seems to me that the US national anthem should be changed to “God Save Our Gracious Queen.” That anthem is in hymn style and it’s easy to sing. Most people in the US already know the tune to that since the US stole that tune from Britain when “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (whatever the fuck that means) was written. And I suspect some ignoramuses in the US think that’s what they’re singing in the UK when they hear their national anthem, “God Save The Queen.”
The finest version I’ve heard of “God Save The Queen” has been the arrangement written by Sir David Willcocks for the Royal Wedding of Charles and Diana. That version was scored for multiple choral ensembles — including the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys of St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in London — and brass (the State Trumpets) and the last verse has this glorious descant which was sung by the trebles (boys). You can hear it here (and please excuse The Queen’s sour look; don’t know what was going on with her. Disapproved of the marriage?)
I’m all for changing the tacky US national anthem. I played it every week when I was pianist for the local Rotary Club when I was their pianist in high school, but I haven’t played it since. And the only outstanding performance of the piece that I remember hearing was for the Olympics in Atlanta when Robert Shaw’s Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus performed it with their usual choral excellence.
But I live under no illusion that “The Star Spangled Banner” will be replaced. With the conservative/far-right trash we have in positions of power these days and their “Democratic” Party enablers and accomplices, it ain’t about to happen. And I suspect the bloviating orange thug in the Black House couldn’t get past the first few words, “O say can you see…” if that! So, not to worry. The anthem won’t be changed. This sad old wilted anthem isn’t going anywhere. Chau.—el barrio rosa