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Garrybl  (Level: 276.3 - Posts: 6610)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 9:19 PM


The US just won the world bridge championship, and yet again when the star-spangled banner was played no one could sing along (or indeed appeared to know the words).

Its a pretty tough tune and the words are a tongue twister.

Without getting into political battles are there any other tunes that everyone knows that might be suitable?

Is 'The battle hymn of the republic' -- such a good tune even Elvis couldn't spoil it -- associated with the North not the South and thus not suitable? Or is there some history I should know that otherwise makes it unsuitable?

Caramel1  (Level: 126.0 - Posts: 21557)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 9:22 PM

We have another but the British say it is for the Queen

Titansgal  (Level: 17.6 - Posts: 35)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 9:29 PM

I think "Get Back" by the Beatles would be good!

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4286)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 9:32 PM

If you ever go to the top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, think of the words to "America, the Beautiful" by Katharine Bates. That's the vista she saw when she composed the song. I've always been partial to that one.

Ladyvol  (Level: 203.0 - Posts: 5438)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 9:40 PM

Try singing The Star Spangled Banner with a high school band as your back up band...I did it once and it was hard! I do know all the words though....

Mplaw51  (Level: 176.9 - Posts: 1582)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 10:04 PM

I went up the cog railroad to Pike's Peak and saw that vista. America the Beautiful has my vote.

M48ortal  (Level: 248.3 - Posts: 3735)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 10:08 PM

The song has not been written that I cannot screw up, and I sing only in the car by myself. Still, I vote for America, or America the Beautiful. Both of them are beautiful, and not associated with any war that I know of. I can't see Congress ever voting to change it, no matter who's in charge.

Ladyvol  (Level: 203.0 - Posts: 5438)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 10:08 PM

I like Ray Charles' version of America The Beautiful...I also like Lee Greenwood's God Bless The USA...or how about God Bless America?

Fudypatootie  (Level: 194.5 - Posts: 1302)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 11:23 PM

I don't understand why it's so hard for some to remember the words. We've all got the lyrics of dozens of songs in our heads; what's one more?

Oh, say can you see....

Susyq  (Level: 49.9 - Posts: 112)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 11:39 PM

And how could anyone forget the last lines?

"...and the home of the brave. Play Ball !"

Daveguth  (Level: 250.3 - Posts: 1636)
Mon, 14th Sep '09 11:57 PM

I'm guessing the vast majority of the US would agree that the alternatives to the Star Spangled Banner would have been better choices. But I also think that an even bigger majority would fight tooth and nail if anyone tried to change it. Nobody sticks to their guns like the good old USA when it comes to patriotic traditions.

Madamec8  (Level: 79.5 - Posts: 890)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 1:39 AM

Having grown up singing the Star Spangled Banner (and learning its history and the significance of the words), I couldn't fathom how anyone could not know it. (Singing it is another matter -- I had to drop an octave for 'the rocket's red glare' and on.) I suspect it's partly a generational thing, not only here but also in other countries.

I took a year of college French from a professor who was also trained at Juillard. Friday was singing day, from 'Frere Jacques' to the more difficult French national anthem La Marseillaise. We didn't just sing, we memorized, and we learned the history and meaning of each line. Being young-ish, I retained what was drilled into us and can still sing it today.

Fast forward to 1982 -- my parents invited the visiting family of a French exchange student, along with some others from Sweden and Japan to have dinner at their home. Singing broke out! The French family sang the 'Habanera' from the opera Carmen (it's actually a traditional song for them, but it blew me away). My turn -- I pulled 'La Marseillaise' from some corner of my brain and figured they'd sing along. The mother's mouth dropped open, how do you know that? My children don't even know the national anthem, and indeed, they didn't. They hadn't grown up singing it, and in fact, they didn't even know the historical significance of the words. Generational in part, I'm sure.

I love the other American patriotic songs ... but the Star Spangled Banner will always be my national anthem. I think we owe it to Francis Scott Key.

Clevercloggs  (Level: 27.4 - Posts: 1246)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 6:44 AM

Surreyman  (Level: 257.2 - Posts: 2766)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 7:57 AM

Well, I do know all the verses of 'God Save The Queen', largely due to my Boy Scout upbringing! Don't know if it happens these days though.
It used to be played at the end of all cinema performances, when everyone stood for it, and also at the end of TV programmes for the night. No more, more's the pity.
Why not, when it has such great verses such as:

Scatter her enemies,
And make them fall.
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,

Apparently it was the first ever national anthem anywhere, and many other countries then took over the tune - including the US.

However, we do have the same discussion here - many would far prefer 'Land Of Hope And Glory"!

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 8:36 AM

Foogs  (Level: 264.8 - Posts: 848)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 8:45 AM

You Rock, Martin, and so does JB!

Larefamiliaris  (Level: 135.2 - Posts: 877)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 8:53 AM

Pennwoman  (Level: 152.3 - Posts: 2478)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 9:07 AM

fudypatootie posted
I don't understand why it's so hard for some to remember the words. We've all got the lyrics of dozens of songs in our heads; what's one more?
Oh say can you see

I am pretty sure its
Jose, can you see?

Lodi  (Level: 96.1 - Posts: 2144)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 10:02 AM

Wait. Bridge players didn't know the words to the National Anthem?


Garrybl  (Level: 276.3 - Posts: 6610)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 10:22 AM

Of course they may have been shy, like me.
Or bad singers.

But the words are tongue-twisting in place; while God save the queen is an easy tune and simple words.

Putting a poem to music is always fraught with danger I suppose.


Papajensai  (Level: 190.3 - Posts: 1025)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 11:27 AM

We like our difficult national anthem. Not everyone is cut out to be an American, old chap, and it's one way we can tell the difference.

Martin, that last one of the Morris Dancers reminded me of the Monty Python Fish-slapping Dance, but mentioning it in this context would be much too silly.

Asdibbens  (Level: 159.4 - Posts: 423)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 1:48 PM

Thanks, Ron! One of my faves!

Thanks Martin for the Morris Dancing, too. My mind reels wondering why the Puritans thought it was morally degenerate and should be banned.

Bokeelia  (Level: 185.9 - Posts: 114)
Tue, 15th Sep '09 9:28 PM

The Battle Hymn, while a bit too religious, would work for me. We've welcomed the south back into the Union so I can't imagine there would be a problem with it. It's really pretty powerful when performed by a good choral group.There are harmonies unattainable with the Start Spangled Banner.

Madamec8  (Level: 79.5 - Posts: 890)
Wed, 16th Sep '09 2:26 AM

George, that would work for me, too ... and there is a pretty good choral group to do it:

Buchanan  (Level: 80.7 - Posts: 339)
Fri, 18th Sep '09 10:31 PM

I plan to write a kerblunk on the words to the star spangeled banner so be on your toes.This song says it all! buchanan

Sargon  (Level: 111.2 - Posts: 1256)
Sat, 19th Sep '09 3:08 AM

Surprisingly it did not officially become the national anthem until 1931.

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