The national anthem of the United States of America is an awkward tune that tests the limits of our vocal ranges. It is also not a very good song, clunky and lacking a catchy melody, barely lending itself to harmony. Singers at ball games often try to improvise on it, adding a note or two to show off their range. Even so, after singing it perhaps 50,000 times most of us are (or should be) tired of it.
I see that the European Union chose Ludwig von Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, part of the fourth movement of his Ninth Symphony, a very moving piece of music. They added new words as follow:
Europe is united now
United it may remain
Our unity in diversity
May contribute to world peace.
Faith and Justice
And freedom for its people
In a bigger motherland.
Citizens, Europe shall flourish
Golden stars in the sky are
The symbols that shall unite us.
Those are good words, appealing to our higher values with no reference to war or rockets going off.
That in mind, with Europe having set a precedent of sorts by using classical music for an anthem, I thought perhaps I could get a movement going in this country to do the same. See below the tab for my suggested national anthem of the United States of America.
Of course it requires some practice to get it down, the ah-ha-ah-ha-ah-ah’s a little hard to do in unison, but nonetheless I can easily see 60,000 fans in Mile High stadium, all wearing bright orange jerseys that say “Manning” on the back joyfully singing this song.
By the way, just like none of us know the other verses of the Star Spangled Banner, so too could this song be shortened to a minute or so, probably the average attention span of football enthusiasts.