Ignorance of national anthem embarrassment for entire nation

By Olivia Seecof


Well, I never thought that I would have anything in common with pop star and five-time Grammy award-winner Christina Aguliera except for our love for the city of Pittsburgh. But, after Super Bowl XLV, we now share the story of a “most embarrassing moment.”

Our nation has sung the difficult melody of “The Star Spangled Banner” at sporting events and July 4 parades for years. Different musicians have put their own individual spin on the well-known tune, but these harmonies and rearrangements never before included the omission of the lyrics.

Now, I said that Christina Aguliera and I share an embarrassing moment, but they are definitely not equivalent.

My social trauma occurred in high school at a middle school hockey game. I was running the scoreboard and was required to play the national anthem.  However, due to technical difficulties, it would not play. My friend who was working with me told me to “just say it” (meaning say that there was technical difficulties), but I interpreted this to mean, “Go right ahead and sing the national anthem.”

Well, I cannot sing, and when I got to the climactic part about the rockets, I failed to remember what color the rockets’ glare was. Once I remembered, I slowed down and my voice shook even more, but I continued and finished out our country’s anthem strong.

OK, not that bad right? I mean, who goes to middle school hockey games anyway? Christina Aguliera, on the other hand, blew it in front of a national audience.

With her extravagant riffs and ability to belt out any note, she started out strong; then the letdown set in. I felt bad for the troops serving overseas who had to stand there while some pop star celebrity botched the theme song of the American soldier. Christina Aguliera replaced “O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming ” with “What so proudly we watch’d at the twilight’s last streaming.”

Good one, Xtina. That doesn’t even make sense. Still, according to www.songfacts.com, one poll showed that 61% of Americans don’t know all of the words and only 39% of those who claimed to know the words correctly said what came after “Whose broad stripes and bright stars.”

Come on, America, that’s pathetic. This song represents our country and demonstrates our unity, yet we don’t even know the words. While both Christina Aguliera and I have had embarrassing moments surrounding this song, I think the above statistics are our entire country’s most embarrassing moment. If you are reading this article and do not know the words to our nation’s anthem, please take a break from studying and look them up.

Our only hope is the fact that both Christina Aguliera and myself recovered and finished strong, proving that even through embarrassing times, America really is the “home of the brave.”

Now if only the Steelers could have recovered and finished strong …

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