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Alicia Keys versus Francis Scott Key
NORTH CAROLINA-(BASN)-Is it time for us to stop singing the National Anthem before sporting events?
I mean every time the song is sung, there seems to be some type of controversy surrounding it.
It started with Beyonce’s lip-syncing version of the anthem at the 2013 Inauguration, which upset some patriotic Americans, who probably didn’t vote for Obama.
Seriously, ever since the creation of the singing competition American Idol, Simeon Cowell’s British arrogance has been accepted as the norm in America.
Now, everybody wants to be a critic or a judge.
Shamefully, most of these singing competition judges can’t sing, with the exception of Mariah Carey of course.
Now, Grammy-award winning singer, Alicia Keys is “under fire” for her rendition of Francis Scott Key’s war song.
I could see if she sounded like comedienne Rosanne Barr’s 1990 mockery of the National Anthem before a game between the San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds, in which she squealed like a pig ready for slaughter all the way through and ended by grabbing her crotch and spitting on the ground.
Or Rock-n-Roll legend Steve Taylor’s screaming “cat call” version during the 2012 NFL playoffs between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.
Or even nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis’ famous botched attempt to sing the National Anthem in 1993 in Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey before a Nets-Bulls game.
But, it didn’t.
It may have been long but it was strong.
So, with all of this criticism coming Alicia Keys way, I suggest all Black performers refuse to sing the damn song and stick to singing the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice, composed by James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson instead, which contains these beautiful words:
Lift Every Voice and sing till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of liberty
Let our rejoicing rise high as the listening skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song, full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song, full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won
Truthfully, after reading those lyrics, there is no comparison between the two songs.
Case in point, does the National Anthem mention heaven for all of those bible-carrying Christians?
Does it contain the words liberty, faith or hope?
The answer is no.
So, while we remember the great Whitney Houston’s spirited version of the National Anthem in 1991 at Super Bowl XXV, which we learned later was pre-recorded or Marvin Gaye’s smooth rendition in 1983 at the Forum in Los Angeles during the NBA All-Star Game, we hope and pray that we remember the words of our own National Anthem during Black History Month.
So, lift every voice and sing…..