Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Hi America, calm the fuck down.


Christina Aguilera is taking a beat-down in the press because she cocked up the national anthem before the Superbowl. The traitorous heathen sang "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming" when she should have sung: "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming?"

Well guess who hates America. And with that surname she sure as hell isn't being invited to any dinner parties in Arizona, particularly after besmirching the international adulation that The Star Spangled Banner attracts at this, the eyrie of American Football.

Well, America, Christina Aguilera actually is American - born in New York and grew up in Pennsylvania. I am fairly certain that she knows the national anthem and has sung it more than once. The Star Spangled Banner is all in English - the language that all nationals and some immigrants can speak - and has been the anthem since before Methuselah hit puberty. And the national pride seeping out of America's every pore means that most babies can sing the anthem before they can identify their parents. Although Aguilera's parents were (legal) immigrants, she was born American, is American, has been educated American... in fact she's probably had American rammed down her (very talented) throat since she was born. The US is such a deeply proud nation that I find it a hard concept to imagine that anyone who has vocal cords cannot belt out the song at will.

So cocking up a line that sounds the same doesn't mean that Aguilera failed to prepare for the most-watched show on American television. Had she been off-key, then yes, accusations about not taking the occasion seriously enough and under-preparing would have been just. Had she worn the national colours of Cuba, then yes you could accuse her of being all sorts of things. If she was a black folk and a political leader then you could accuse her of destroying the country.

But sometimes people make a mistake when they are singing for the largest crowd in front of which they will ever perform (in this case 111 million people).

And sometimes they just sommer make a mistake for no reason - just ask your average white South African to sing Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, if you don't know what I mean.

In case you're interested, here is how the USA National Anthem should sound (song starts at about 1.20):

4 comments:

Fran said...

Wait... that was it? That was the mistake she made? She's being crucified over one line? And here I thought there was a more serious reason why they were sounding like they want her tried for treason.

Simon said...

Yup - that was it. Crazy, hey?

burgsworld said...

I can't believe you didnt mention that rasta who did the SA anthem at the rugby....wonder if thats on YouTube

Simon said...

Gah! That was a real insult to a national anthem. If Christina had done that then I could understand US citizens' fury.