Saturday, February 6, 2016

Super Bowl 50 - National Anthem: NOVA this week (February 6, 2016)

Observations from my weekly wanderings, usually in Northern Virginia (NOVA).

Tomorrow is the Super Bowl 50. I know this may not be of much interest to many bookish types, nor to readers outside North America.

(I know, North America includes Canada – but Canucks secretly love the Super Bowl – they just don’t like to admit it.)

I for one will be watching. I am a die-hard fan of one of the few teams never to play in the Super Bowl. For that reason, it’s a little painful to watch, but I figure it will make it that much sweeter when we finally win.

And besides, I love a spectacle.

I’m ambivalent as to who wins; I just hope it is a close fought, penalty and injury free game.

I am not ambivalent about the National Anthem.

(Just stop rolling your eyes; this is NOT going where you think it’s going.)

I’m a veteran, and a patriot, and I like our National Anthem. I’m not exactly a fan of Lady Gaga, but you know – art. And she can sing. I hope she delivers an excellent rendition.

I didn’t use the word “perform”. I don’t like to see/hear the National Anthem performed. It isn’t a showcase for the singer. It isn’t about them.

I don’t mean the melody or lyrics are sacrosanct. It doesn’t have to be sung exactly in Francis Scott’s Key (pardon the pun). If Lady Gaga’s passion for music and feeling for her country compel her to change things up a bit (a bit mind you) from the traditional rendering, I have no problem with that, indeed I’d commend it, if it is the natural expression of what the song evokes from her.

You may be familiar with the late great Ray Charles and his iconic rendering of America the Beautiful. He didn’t stick strictly to the melody as written by Samuel Ward, or exactly to the words by Katherine Bates, but I never got the impression he was performing, or attempting to make it his own. He was singing with passion that seemed perfectly natural. I loved his rendition.
I hope Lady Gaga does something as beautifully sincere. I believe she can.


  1. I don't really watch the Superbowl (unless the Chicago Bears are playing because I've got that chi-town pride), but I do appreciate a well-sung National Anthem. And I totally know what you mean about performing it - I really think Lady Gaga has an excellent voice and entirely capable of singing it well.


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