Tagged: Francis Scott Key

Key’s Revenge

francis_scott_key.jpgSinging The Star Spangled Banner at a sporting event is a time-honored tradition.  It’s also potentially paralyzing.  This is true in a figurative sense since the notes reach a really high register and sometimes people freeze up and just can’t get there.  It’s also true in a literal sense like when Sacha Baron Cohen sang the national anthem at a rodeo as his Borat character and almost got himself lynched.  Southerners don’t like it when you mess with their anthems and that includes Dixie and Sweet Home Alabama as well.

The anthem itself has a storied tradition and every schoolchild knows of Francis Scott Key and the poem he wrote based on an unwelcome stay aboard a British boat in Baltimore harbor.  However, the decision to set it to a tune that is practically impossible for a majority of the population to sing may not have been the best idea.

As it stands, the Star Spangled Banner has played a starring role in several unfortunate incidents, the most famous of which has to be Roseanne Barr’s infamous rendition.  But the song usually finds at least one new victim every year.  This year’s list of nominees would probably include the singer at a recent Chiefs’ game.  There’s nothing wrong with the voice.  And he gets most of the words.  It’s just….well, take a look for yourself: