the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The National Anthem


My favorite part of the Olympics is not the sports, but when they play the national anthems.   I love national anthems.   France’s La Marsellaise is inspiring.   Israel’s Haktikvah is emotional.   Our Star Spangled Banner stinks.  I know it’s the Fourth of July and all, but is there a better time to suggest something revolutionary?

Well, It’s actually not that revolutionary.  Many have argued for changing the national anthem.  Usually, the argument involves the fact that the song is too war-like.  Or that the tune is based on a drinking song.  Or someone like Roseanne sings it at a baseball game.   My objection is that it is just a bad song.  No one can sing it right.  It’s screechy.  No one really knows the words. 

Anyone have any suggestions?  My vote goes for "This Land is Your Land."

Happy 4th of July.  Support our troops!


  1. Edgy Mama

    I’m with you. It’s almost impossible to sing. But it does tear me up every time.

  2. drew

    Amen, brother.

    What’s really horrifying is that there are millions of people who have no idea that are a couple of verses that are still conveniently left out of the song:

    Down in the city
    in the shadow of the steeple
    By the relief office,
    I saw my people
    As they stood there hungry
    I stood there whistling:
    This land was made for you and me

    As I went walking
    I saw a sign there
    And on that sign it said
    “Private Property”
    But on the other side
    it didn’t say nothin’
    That side was made for you and me!

  3. Neil

    Hmmm, Drew… about my choice… maybe “Born in the USA” is a better suggestion.

  4. :: jozjozjoz ::

    I personally like the Star Spangled Banner… but that’s just me.

  5. TWM

    Not just you, Joz, I like it too.

  6. lizriz

    I like the Star Spangled Banner.

    And I know the words.

    And I can sing the hell out of it.

    And it’s superfun to sing! I used to sing it in my car to warm up my voice, back in the day. Now I only have to warm up my voice for karaoke, but it’s still a kick-ass song.

  7. Neil

    Wow, I didn’t realize “The Star Spangled Banner” was so popular. Imagine the comments I would have gotten if I said I wanted it replaced by Neil Diamond’s “America (They’re Coming to America).”

  8. TWM

    Hey, Neil (Diamond) is da man!

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