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An 'arresting' event

February 23, 2011 - Taste Buds
One of The Buds has been on her soap box for the past few weeks and promises this will be her final words on the subject at hand: the singing of our national anthem.

Pittsburgh area native Christina Aguilera was selected to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the Feb. 6 Super Bowl.

We do enjoy some of Aguilera's music. She likes to take a song and make it her own. And the Bud on her soap box has no problem with that until you start to slaughter what belongs to an entire nation.

Taking "artistic" license with our country's national anthem is not permissible. It doesn't matter who you are or where you come from. Some things should be done the way they were meant to be. Our flag should remain red, white and blue and flying proudly. The eagle should remain feathered and wild.

During the Super Bowl, while singing the national anthem, Aguilera forgot some of the words. OK. Let's forgive her for that. What is unforgivable was the implausible warbling, screaming and sliding all over the scales that she managed to do.

Our national anthem is sacred. Once again, you sing it with respect in the way it was meant to be. If you aren't willing to do that ... then don't sing it.

There has been many before Aguilera, and many more yet to come, who will continue to murder The Star-Spangled Banner in the name of self-expression. We don't have to accept it. Too many people have given their all for the freedoms we enjoy today. At the very least, we should repay them for their sacrifices by insisting that this song be performed the way it was written!

The lyrics were written by Francis Scott Key during a time when our country was at war, The War of 1812. His poem was intended to be solemn and was eventually set to an old British drinking tune, later adopted as our country's anthem in 1931.

The range of the song is tough ... one and a half octaves ... not an easy task for any singer to master. And, in addition, its tempo is to be performed at 96 beats per minute. Its not a funeral march. It isn't an up-tempo number either.

There are three additional verses to the song which we seldom hear and many folks are counting their blessings. Can you imagine listening to someone murder four stanzas? That could quite possibly cause ears to bleed!

A recent editorial in The Times Leader may have said it best ... "Wonder if there's such a charge as mutilating a song? If so, what Aguilera did to the national anthem could be a felony."

If Aguilera's performance is such the case ... there are many, many, many other singers who should be found guilty on felony counts when it comes to singing the national anthem.

All we have to say is, "Officer! Arrest those singers!"


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