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Changing the Anthem? The “Nays” Have It!

On Friday, I once again brought up the question we asked readers in the mid-80s: Should we change the U.S. national anthem to something a little easier to sing? In a completely unscientific poll, 90% of you said “absolutely not!” Only six people out of 67 respondents said they would prefer a song other than “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Here are a few of the better-stated arguments against changing the anthem:

– No, we should not change our anthem. Our flag should be something that makes us proud. We just need to renew our passion for it and what it means. We need to instill in our children a feeling of pride and patriotism when we see our flag. That is what the song is all about after all and what our country really needs.

– We should never change what our forefathers set forth for us. When you have the best, why should you consider the rest? I firmly believe in God and country, together. Period. Leave it alone.

– I see no reason to change it. It is a beautiful tribute to the USA and our flag. Still makes the hairs raise on the back of my neck and brings a tear to my eye.

– Although there are a handful of patriotic songs that stir up emotion in me and my family, there is only one that makes me breakdown in tears of pride accompanied by head to toe goosebumps, and that is “The Star Spangled Banner.” So rich in every way. Never ever change our National Anthem. Thank you.

– I believe we should keep “The Star Spangled Banner” as our National Anthem. It represents the struggle our founders went thru during the early years of the United States. The United States has been strong for 235 years because of our Constitution and the patriotism of its citizens. Each time I hear “The Star Spangled Banner” I am inspired with patriotism and pride in the United States.

– It still gets cheers when it is sung at events. The novelty still hasn’t worn off yet, and probably never will. Some things should never change.

– No, the national anthem should remain “The Star Spangled Banner.” It’s a beautiful, patriotic song. Besides, it’s always fun to hear people in a crowd at events try to hit the high notes. It’s not supposed to be easy to sing, it takes work and practice, just like our freedom and democracy.

– I think it is a song that was written during the birth of this once great nation, that it has a place in every American’s heart. Some say that there is too much rockets red glare in the world, those rockets fought off the injustices of a foreign king, forged legendary men that died for an American ideology, and in future conflicts will be greatly appreciated by the men and women serving in battle against the next enemy. I respect the suggestion of “God bless America” as a substitute, but I find it comes nowhere close to the inspirational effect as “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

– Think, “The Star Spangled Banner” has been and is the “one and only” national anthem. It was written as an eyewitness account of the happenings that helped form this nation. It serves as a reminder of the difficulties that our founding fathers endured to form this great nation!

And for it:

– Why not! A little updating/refreshing never hurt anyone. The National Anthem is about as inspiring and nails on a chalkboard.

– Though the “Star Spangled Banner” has a book title per line and we all should know it, it demands a range and flexibility few of us possess even with training. “America the Beautiful” is much more accessible, but I can think of another alternative. Though the words occur in millions of forms, all versions of “Green Grow the Lilacs” possess the same beautiful, SIMPLE tune, and it was once so much loved and sung by Americans it got us called “gringos”. Why couldn’t we agree on words set to this one?

– I love the “Star-Spangled Banner” and have frequently sung it for audiences. Having said that, I think the U.S. National Anthem should be something more accessible to more people, like America itself is. Therefore, my choice would be “America The Beautiful.”

– Yes! I’ve had enough “rockets red glare” in my lifetime. Actually, too much. I think America the Beautiful is a more positive reflection of this great land.

– I think it should be changed to Woody Guthrie’s, “This Land Is Your Land.” It’s a much more positive song (not about war), and it is WAY easier for mere mortals to sing!

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  • Frutero says:

    Since the Star Spangled Banner has been an official anthem only since 1931, it is not as enshrined as many people think. An anthem should be participatory, like democracy, not something that can only be rendered by a specially- gifted few. School-kids should be able to sing it; audiences at ballgames should be able to sing it; you or I should be able to sing it when so moved in the garden, in the house, just walking down the street. The Star-Spangled Banner, so dear to our hearts, is indeed commanding… and demanding. It could be said that so is democracy, but however demanding democracy is, it demands nothing most of us can’t give: insight, fairness, understanding the consequences of our acts. The Banner does: a quality of voice available to only a few, and those in the prime of life. That is why I suggested “Green Grow the Lilacs”, which was on every American’s lips by 1840.

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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