Free Markets, Free People

Ditching The Star-Spangled Banner

Michael Kinsley annoyed some people this week by suggesting that we replace our national anthem with some other, more singable tune. This subject comes up at least once per year, usually around either the Super Bowl or the World Series, when some new butchering of the song prompts the discussion. Personally, while I don’t agree with Kinsley’s reasoning, I favor the change.

Growing up a Philadelphia Flyers fan, I’ve always had a special affinity for “God Bless America” and often wondered why that tune wouldn’t be a better choice. And anyone who has ever heard Ray Charles sing “America the Beautiful” can be forgiven for thinking that this is our country’s anthem. Both are far representative of the nation than a song about one battle in Baltimore’s harbor.

So, I’m curious. Where do you all stand on the Star-Spangled Banner? Would you rather a different song, and if so, which one?

Which song should be our national anthem?
Keep the “Star-Spangled Banner” you unpatriotic simps!
“God Bless America” (even if Michael likes it too)
“America the Beautiful,” athough what’s so great about ocean foam?
“This Land is Your Land” comrades!
“O, Canada”
“Stars and Stripes Forever”
“My Country ‘Tis of Thee”
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29 Responses to Ditching The Star-Spangled Banner

  • I’d have to call it a toss-up between “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” and “Oh Lord” by the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Or maybe “Ballroom Blitz“.

  • No Iggy Pop?   No T.S.O.L?  No Misfits?
    This is a flawed poll.

  • I always liked “America” by Neil Diamond and thought that would be a good national anthem –

  • Considering our current state,  I think “Purple Haze” would be most appropriate.

  • You’ve forced me out of hibernation with this with this post.
    I like to read Michael Kinsley and I am sure he wrote a witty, intelligent articulate article about it but this is something that comes up every few years and I see utterly no point in changing the national anthem. You may as well ditch the “Marseillaise” and replace it with it with “Frere Jacques”. The national anthem is one of those great songs that most people can’t sing (including me), but when someone does sing it properly, it soars.

  • Huh, that’s odd. I never took you guys for dirty, dirty commies.

  • In a few years we can change it to “China Grove.”

    P.S., the Flyers are horrible. Go Pens.

  • “God Bless America”?

    Why do you hate atheist? /sarc

  • Down here Dixie would be fine.

  • Seriously, The Star Spangled Banner must remain our national anthem.

  • I think for as long as Dear Leader is in power (which could be a very long time given his regime’s propensities), it may as well be Guthrie’s communist ode “This Land is Your Land.” We would need to reestablish the following verse that, according to Wikipedia, Guthrie included in early versions of the song:
    There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;Sign was painted, it said private property;But on the back side it didn’t say nothing;That side was made for you and me.
    If not that, then perhaps we could start fresh and have Barbara Streisand or Harry Belafonte collaborate with Kim Jong Il, Hugo Chavez, Ahmedinejad, or The Castro Brothers to bring us uplifting anti-capitolist, goose-stepping ditties.

  • Or rather, “anti-capitalist.” Oops.

  • In light of recent events maybe we should change it to After The Fall’s “Der Commissar.”
    <i> Don’t turn around, AW OH!</i>

  • Whitney Houston.
    The Star Spangled Banner.
    Super Bowl XXV, 1991.
    Goosebumps and butterflies and choked up tears.  Everytime.
    End of discussion.  😉

  • Also, these little cuties just own it.

  • Awesome poll to hold on Flag Day!
    And if it was good enough for Jimi Hendrix…

  • “God Bless America” will never do, not unless you drop the whole “God” thing.

  • The Star Spangled Banner is not an easy song to sing.
    Democracy and freedom are not easy virtues to maintain.
    It’s a good match.

  • That “performance” was lip-synced to her studio recording, and her overplayed warbling is beyond annoying.
    I’ve already favored changing to “Stars and Stripes Forever” for a long time. For one thing, it can’t be sung. It’s also distinctively American; nothing else in the world sounds like it.

  • That reply was to you, Pogue.

  • ballgames are entertainment, so i vote no national anthems. we don’t sing them for plays, movies, concerts – ballgames should follow suit, then the argument would be moot.

    for the record, i voted for “america the beautiful”, and if you had asked, i’d also have voted to leave out “god bless america” from the 7th inning stretch – “take me out to the ballgame” is perfection: adding any other songs mars that perfection.

  • Unfortunately, “Non-Denominational High Power or Secular Humanist Moral Code Which Guides You Bless America” doesn’t have the same pizzazz…
    This reminds me of the perennial movements to change my state’s song from “Maryland, My Maryland” to something less offensive. There was an alternative suggested by the General Assembly which rambles on about the state’s “babbling brooks” or some such nonsense. It’s contrived, castrated schlock with no historical significance or connection to the state. Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before “Maryland, My Maryland” is gone. It does, after all, urge my compatriots to “spurn the Northern scum”….

  • Why am I not surprised that you would be one of the countless people to fall for that mass hallucination.  HAS TO BE the absolutely most overated performance in history.  Houston’s vocal calistintics where she goes up and down the scale and can never hold on to a clean note made a mockery of our national anthem, and every other damn thing that crack whore ever sang.

  • Wow.  It’s one thing not to like her particular performance, it’s quite another to call it a mockery from a crack whore.
    Whatever man.  I like it.  So did a lot of people.
    And the fact that a lot of people liked it, and the only rendition I can think of that actually made the top 20 pop chart, actually helped a lot of people.
    With my emphasis:
    According to her label, Houston, who had been in the process of picking songs for the LP with Arista CEO L.A. Reid before last Tuesday’s terrorist strikes, decided to do her part to help the country recover by agreeing to have her rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” re-released.
    Houston has waived her royalty rights to the recording and instead the proceeds will be split between the New York Firefighters Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Fraternal Order of Police Fund, Arista said.
    The singer originally performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” right before the start of Super Bowl XXV in 1991; the nation was embroiled in the Persian Gulf War at the time. The patriotic feeling of her stirring cover resonated so strongly with the public that it was released as a single, and earned a gold certification in April 1991. Those profits went to the Gulf War Crisis Fund.

    Yeah…. What a whore.

  • I’d vote for “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee,” but it’s got the same tune as “God Save The Queen” so when our Olympians go up to receive their medals, everybody will think Britain won.

  • Other than the fact the tune was taken from an English gentlemen’s club “drinking” song – The Anacreontic Song (if you think the anthem is un-sing-able…heh….)
    Yes, distinctly American.

  • Oh, and I vote we leave it the hell alone too.
    Don’t know about you, but the words still inspire me.

  • Personally I think it is a crime to sing it “perfectly.”  For god sakes it is a drinking song!  It should be sung as loud, enthusiastic and off key as only a drunk can.  Besides as a Christian I can tell you God Bless America is a horrible song.