Just a little something I came across tonigt. It’s credited to “A Marine Corps Colonel in Afghanistan”, but you know how that goes as far as letters floating around the internet I don’t know who originally wrote it and so far I’ve had no luck finding where it originated from, but I’d like to shake the person’s hand that did.
So with all the kindness I can muster, I give this one piece of advice to the next pop star who is asked to sing our National Anthem at a sporting event. Save the vocal gymnastics and the physical gyrations for your concerts. Just sing this song the way you were taught to sing it in kindergarten – straight up, no styling.
Sing it with the constant awareness that there are soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines watching you from bases and outposts all over the world. Don’t make them cringe with your self-centered ego gratification.
Sing it as if you are standing before a row of 86-year-old WWII vets wearing their Purple Hearts, Silver Stars and flag pins on their cardigans and you want them to be proud of you for honoring them and the country they love – not because you want them to think you are a superstar musician. They could see that from your costume, makeup and your entourage.
Sing ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ with the courtesy and humility that tells the audience that it is about America, not you. And please remember, not everything has to be sung as a Spiritual. We’re getting a little weary of that. Francis Scott Key does not need any help.