Saturday, July 16, 2011

~~on changing our national anthem

I think that our national anthem, if we REALLY need one, should be changed.  I think that the Star Spangled Banner is a nationalistic belligerent ditty, glorifying wars and bombs and sung to the tune of a somewhat off color tavern song in bygone days.  I don't object to the off color lyrics, but the bomb-stuff that was adopted in its place is just obscene.

I found this interesting site: which lists all known national anthems, even for countries I never knew existed, let alone had an honest-to-God national anthem.  War seems to be a common theme as far as anthems go from Abkazia to Zimbabwe.  Okay, the Abkazia anthem didn't have an English translation, but I'm just betting that WAR is embedded into its Cyrillic script somewhere, maybe О-ҳо-ҳо-о ҳо-о-Рада really means "let's kick the shit out of anyone who hates us."

I found the old Soviet Union's anthem interesting, until you get to this verse:

Through storms the sun of freedom has shined upon us,
And the great Lenin has lighted the wayStalin has taught us faithfulness to the people,
To labour, and inspired us to great feats
Hmm. Stalin taught faithfulness to the people? I'll just bet he did - you're faithful or you get a one-way ticket to Siberia if you're lucky.

I always thought that America the Beautiful would be more appropriate.  It has nice words.  After all, who doesn't just love purple mountains?  Nothing about building empires or bombing people.  The perfect anthem!

I knew there were more lyrics than the first two verses that everybody knows, so I searched for the rest of it.  Holy shit!  It would be a bitch to sing at a ballgame, it would just take too long.  Baseball takes too long as it is, especially the way the Orioles have been playing lately.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov'd,
And mercy more than life.
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Anyway, if you made it down this far, my hat's off to you.  Maybe instead of changing our national anthem, we should nix the whole damn thing.

1 comment: