Monday, February 05, 2007

National Anthem Renditions

You know, I was thinking. I have been to and watched many sporting events over the years and have listened to the Star Spangled Banner being sung many times. I was in marching band in high school and in the Accapella Chorus in college and have either played or sang the Anthem a few dozen times in my life. The Mudpuppy's post from Saturday got me to thinking about my favorite renditions of the national anthem. What makes for a good or even great version of our National Anthem? Why is it some versions will bring a tear to our eye and yet others leave us saying "that was nice"? Personally I thought that Billy Joel's rendition last night at the Superbowl was one of the best I have heard. Why you might ask? It was simple! Yep, I think that this great national song is best done as it is written. I love to hear it sang either accapella or with very simple instrumentation. I personally do not care for a lot of frilly fanfare with the Anthem! I think about the best version of the anthem that I have ever heard was when Huey Lewis and the News did it at the 1980 (I think) Major League Baseball All-Star game. They did it accapella and the harmonies were tight and they sang it straight.

What makes a good singing of the Anthem to you? What are some of your favorite renditions of the Anthem. Oh, and by the way Mudpuppy, even though it was a bit frilly, I did love Whitney's version that year as well. Be blessed beyond belief today.

27 Comments:

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Russell said...

I'll have you know, there was nothing frilly about Whitney's version. It was straightfoward and extremely powerful. Hands down the best rendition ever recorded!!

It's a shame what happened to Whitney, she really had some pipes back then....

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Alrighty Mudpuppy, I told you I really liked her version but it was a little on the frilly side. Stop living in denial!
As far as what happened to her, that's what drugs and addiction can do to people. I guess when you don't have a relationship with the Father, that's exactly what can happen. You will chase anything you can find to fill that hole! B4T

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger Raivynn said...

I like clean versions of the Anthem, too. Jazzed up ones just seem so ... wrong, to me. A little flair is okay, but I'm talking when it is seriously changed.

And people like Roseanne Barr who make a mockery of it should fined or made to watch "Ishtar" and "Gigli" for three days straight.

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Bruiser said...

Anybody who has ever seen or better yet been to a Detroit Red Wings game at the JLA knows that Karen Newman can sing that song like crazy. And she doesn't jazz it up, or make it her own, she just sings the heck out of it. Am I right or am I right? Yeah, thought you'd agree. :)

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Raivynn, I am all with you on the Rosanne thing but I believe your poposal borders on cruel and unusual (may even inhumane) punishment.
Bruiser, nothing more to say except that I have indeed heard Karen Newman (live and on TV) and she does kick out a mean anthem! B4T

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous wheres jim? said...

It may have had something to do with the times, but Whitney's version still brings tears to my eyes. Not long after that Super Bowl they played the video of her singing that to start a regional bowling tournament in Anderson SC and I broke down and wept (I was not alone). Interesting side bar that while enroute to that tournament I was riding with a friend (Roy Carper) and I asked him if he minded if I smoked. To this he replied not if I minded if he farted. Anyway, I digress. Kate Smith sang an awesome version at Philadelphia Flyers hockey games many years ago and there was a young lady who sings sometimes at Flyers games (I think a daughter of one of their former announcers) who left me in tears.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger rindy said...

Billy Joel was good--simple. Whitney had a great voice but I really like simple. I have heard so many versions lately--my kids DJ at local hockey games, their hockey games, pro games...simple works, whether it is with singing or just instrumental. And giving someone a chance to sing (example..owner's 12 year old grandchild) is ok, but only if they can truly sing...that's a respect thing...

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Hawkman said...

...Pudge you are right on when you said Whitney's version was frilly...so true. The truth is that the Pudge was secretly dating Whitney...but had to dump her when Rachael showed up...you made the right choice Pudgeman!

 
At 1:14 PM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Hawkman, how true it is that I made the right choice. I just wish that Whitney would quit calling. It is soooooooo frustrating when a famous person cannot take NO for an answer!
Rindy, I completely agree with what you are saying. Let's have people who can at least do some justice to how the Anthem should be sang. B4T

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Kodiak said...

Whitney sings well but I like Sandi Patti's version best. Here is the link,
http://www.brownielocks.com/SandiPattiStarSpangledBanner.html

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Kodiak, Sandi Patti has such a powerful voice and I do agree that this is a moving version of the Anthem, but much like Whitney, she is a little frilly! But, once again it is powerful. B4T

 
At 2:21 PM, Blogger ryan said...

Myself I like hearing it sang with respect knowing would the words mean. Adding to is just not okay will me. I used to love to stand on the flight deck in port and standing at attention saluting our flag that I stood for something and that people died for. It still give thats feeling seeing the Stars and Bars being rised. So do not butcher a great song by adding your our touch to it. but that just me I guess

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Now, that's what I am talking about! Respect and reverence. Thank you Ryan for putting it in perspective. It's not about how well it can be sung or really even how the sound of what you are doing moves people. It's about what it represents and all that went into it. B4T

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Swinging Sammy said...

I think the most moving version ever was when the coach went out to help the little girl sing it cuz she forgot the words. He couldn't sing worth a dang, and their duet embraces what the anthem stands for: using your strength to help those in need.

 
At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Tonya said...

You go Sammy. I believe that Tom should us that version at church. Oh how I cried, powerful!!!!!

 
At 5:42 AM, Blogger big j said...

I like the end. then the game starts.

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Sammy, I remember that. What a wonderful and powerful event. No frills. The entire audience joined in to what has come to be a very powerful moment. Thanks for reminding me. B4T

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Russell said...

Whitney Houston version. Hands down.

 
At 8:27 AM, Anonymous Russell said...

...NOT frilly

 
At 9:08 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

My young Mudpuppy, you keep looking for an arguement that just isn't there. I'll pray for you. B4T

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous wheres jim? said...

I will stand with Roscoe on this one. With all due respect to his Pudgeness...Oh and you can pray for me too, I need it...

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

Timbo, it's alright for you to have your opinion on this. I just wanted to make it clear to his mudness that I wasn't going to argue with him. I think it is a wonderful rendition as well. But no matter how you slice it, it is still frilly. B4T

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger Jay said...

It's always soooo hostile around here anymore.
I'm glad I don't have an opinion..but if I did.... well it probably wouldn't count anyway!

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

ONOM, you may always feel free to express your opinion here and rest assured that when you agree with me then you opinion does indeed count! B4T

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger Jay said...

O.K. good to know...Who's Huey Lewis?

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Doug E. Pudge said...

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT! Nice try ONOM! B4T

 
At 6:57 PM, Anonymous momlovesbeingathome said...

I like what Ryan and Doug said about respect and reverence - that's exactly how it came across to me when Billy Joel sang it at the Super Bowl. Then when the jets flew over the field... WOW! I had a tear in my eye for sure!

 

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