Skip to comments.Great at Athletics, Not at Anthems (U.S. Gold Medalists Can't/Won't Sing the National Anthem)
Posted on 02/20/2010 7:37:58 AM PST by tellw
'Oh, Say, Can You See, by the...Um...Help!'
They can ski down steep slopes at lightning speeds, perform quad spins on ice and do backflips on halfpipes, so how's this for a new, novel Olympic challenge: Singing your country's national anthem on the medal stand.
A scant 21.2% of gold-medal winners in these Games actually sang their entire national anthem, with an additional 18.2% mustering bits and pieces while mumbling or entirely missing other parts, according to a Wall Street Journal study of 33 winners through Thursday's events.
Six Americans were part of this assessment and only one, snowboarder Seth Wescott, sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at all (though he stumbled over the lyrics a couple times). Another American snowboarder, Shaun White, didn't sing at allhe was busy pointing to the crowd, pumping his fists and playing the air guitar. This shouldn't be surprising: A 2004 Harris Poll survey of 2,200 Americans showed 61% didn't know all the words to the national anthem.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Reminds me of a story I once heard about a couple of hundred people on an international flight whose plane was stranded on the tarmac during a long delay. To pass the time the passengers, who comprised a number of different nationalities, took turns singing their respective national anthems. When the Americans’ turn came around, they sang “the Ballad of Gilligan’s Island.”
This is part and parcel a result of what goes on in our schools. People of a certain age know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, younger people don’t. It is not written in swahili. There is no reason people can’t be taught to sing that song, or at least mouth the words.
I haven’t watched any of it so far.
Is there anything worth looking at?
And Shani Davis couldn’t bring himself to put his hand on his heart during our national anthem.
Well he is from Chicago.........
Goes back to education in this country. Regardless of the subject. Our schools have become indoctrination.
Since when are the athletes supposed to sing the National Anthem?
It’s an octave an four. What do you expect in a country where band and choir are totally optional and classical music training is ridiculed. For me, a classically trained singer, the song goes through four registers and it splits between chest and head registers. We don’t teach kids how to sing through this anymore. The phrasing of the Star Spangled Banner isn’t the easiest, either. Not knowing all the words - now that’s pathetic.
Maybe writer has a point, but maybe not. If he contends that younger Americans don’t know the words, he has a point (if that is a fact). If he’s complaining because they don’t sing the anthem, he doesn’t have a point. I recall few gold medal winners who actually sang along during a medal presentation. Most don’t, and didn’t in the past. - Most people don’t sing anything in public unless somehow required to do so.
I turned to her in astonishment, she said she was helping her Chinese next door neighbor practice her cultural school homework.
Having not watched the games at all, I thought Shaun White was a girl, “What’s a girl doing getting a medal with guys?”
I used to stand at attention or in military formation all the time for the National Anthem. I was never expected to sing it.
I can sing it, so that’s a different issue.
However, singing it when it’s being played has never been a requirement anyplace I’ve been.
The writer has a point but chose IMO the wrong venue to vent it.
Gold medal winners not singing it doesn’t mean they don’t know the words, It most likely means they don’t want to embarrass themselves with singing in public.
I haven’t seen other countries’ athletes sing theirs either.
I wish the WSJ writer had found another way to bring this up. I think it is valid and reflective or our schools.
I wonder if odumbo knows the words? I am guessing not.
btw it is You’re, as in you are not sure of the words.
Great Vid, thanks
This is a pet peeve of mine; the idea that one puts one's hands over one's heart during the National Anthem. I grew up in the fifties and sixties, living exclusively on military installations, at a time when respect for the National Anthem was considered absolutely obligatory, and I was never schooled to do so; simply to stand at attention respectfully and face the flag. Placing the hand over the heart is a symbol of one's fealty to a pledge or an oath, not respect.
You could get you're ass kicked.
The older generations today can sing the national anthem because when they were young and they went to an event, the announcer said, "Please stand and join in the singing of our National Anthem." For the past twenty years the announcer has said, "Please stand as (insert name of performer here) performs our National Anthem." Where do young people get the opportunity to sing the National Anthem anymore? They don't because it is always being performed.
The practice should change where the performance is of something like America the Beautiful and then everyone joins in the singing of the anthem. Young people would learn the words again.
We have an almost unsingable national anthem. I’ve been in various church choirs, but I would never humiliate myself by trying to sing the Star Spangled Banner!
And let’s face it - the lyrics stink as well - try singing the 3rd verse sometime in public:
O! say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!