Well it is the day after, and I am still taken back. No, it’s not the fact that the Steelers lost the Super Bowl. I have faced that before (Yeah the name Neil O’Donnell still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth). It is not the fact that for about the third year in a row, the commercials have seemed a bit flat. It isn’t even the fact that the half time show might go down in history as one of the worst on record. It is the fact that, once again, the National Anthem of the United States of America was tortured and twisted and even forgotten by a major recording artist.
I am a big fan of the National Anthem. It’s aged lyrics, and powerful message still give me chills and can move me a great deal emotionally. Well it can when it is sang right. Christina Aguilara is a woman with the pipes to really nail the song. However, she not only made the song unrecognizable, she managed to forget an entire line of the song while singing it. I don’t put all of this blame on her, she has a long history of singing this anthem throughout her singing career at many events. Her rendition of the song has gotten more and more “off” with each performance, so I have to question why the NFL would ask her to sing it in the first place.
I am the last person to want to squash people’s creative freedom. That being said, I just don’t understand why so many singers opt to try to reinvent the song in their image, when it is so complex and demanding on its own merits. When someone nails the song in the traditional way it really gets people going. Maybe I’m just uninformed, but I really don’t hear other country’s anthems being mangled. Perhaps it is the freedoms that were fought for that allow for the song to be reinterpreted at will.
Personally, I think it would be quite refreshing for a major artist to actually take the song and sing it the way it was “designed” and not reinterpreting it.
- Christina Aguilera Apologizes for US National Anthem Gaffe (pamil-visions.net)
- “Christina Aguilera National Anthem Super Bowl Oops (Video): Star Spangled Banner Lyrics Screw Up” and related posts (tv.popcrunch.com)
- Christina Aguilera’s Super Bowl 2011 Apology (manolith.com)
- Christina Aguilera Explains Super Bowl National Anthem Flub (omg.yahoo.com)