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National Anthem Controversy

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Rene Marie Sings The Black National Anthem at Denver Event

Inspiring Civil Rights Hymn Caused a Political Ruckus

 

 

At Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's State of the City address, African-American singer Rene Marie was scheduled to sing the National Anthem. She didn't do that, exactly. The tune was there, but the words were a little bit different.

 

Instead of the familiar lyrics about "rockets red glare", etc, Ms. Marie substituted the words to a century old anthem called "Lift Every Voice and Sing", which is informally known as the "Black National Anthem." Ms. Marie didn't inform the Mayor's office of what she planned to do on the principle that it was better to beg forgiveness than ask for permission. So far, neither has been granted.

 

"Lift Every Voice and Sing", or the "Black National Anthem", was written nearly a century ago by James W. Johnson, as part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, is actually a very lovely hymn, especially when sung to its actual tune.

 

"Lift ev'ry voice and sing,

'Til 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 'til victory is won."

 

During the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 60s, "Lift Every Voice and Sing", or the "Black National Anthem", was often sung at protest rallies after the National Anthem. It exists as a religious hymn in a number of protestant denominations.

 

Unfortunately Rene Marie, a talented jazz singer, has inadvertently used a beautiful and inspiring hymn and created a political controversy with it. The National Anthem, like the American flag, like the Constitution, is something that belongs to and unifies (or should) all Americans, of every race and color. But substituting the words of Francis Scott Key with those of the "Black National Anthem", Ms. Marie showed disrespect toward the actual National Anthem and suggested, ever so subtlety, a kind of racial separatist mindset that is all too common in modern America.

 

To see a video of part of the performance, go to http://www.necn.com/Boston/Arts-Entertainment/Take-Five-Disrespectful-singing-of-the-National-Anthem/1215044752.html

 

comments?

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Does this really need a comment, Tammie? Any comment that could be made would simply either be viewed as racist or insensitive, or both. Needless to say, I think it's an embarrasment...there's a national anthem..if you've been hired to sing it, sing it...or sing nothing.

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At the outset, nothing this woman did arises to the Roseanne Barr/Padres game fiasco, and - in the long run - that was a subatomic particle on a electron on a blip on American History. (And, if memory serves, at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Aretha Franklin caused a mini-stir by putting "scat-type" variations into the National Anthem. America survived.)

 

To may way of thinking (which, I admit, is probably guaranteed to alienate almost everyone), this story epitomizes the "bread and circuses" (or, if you prefer, the "WWFization") that American politics has undergone since 1988 with the rise of the 24-hour news cycle.

 

In a perfect world, this woman - in deference to the desires of her auduence - probably should have had the good manners to sing the National Anthem as it is written.

 

However, in a perfect world, the reaction to this woman's "faux paus" by a mature audience should have been to treat it as the triviality that it is, and to consign this "news story" to the obscurity it so richly deserves.

 

Artists are "artistic" - they innovate; and political events still have elements of "spontaneity" - some which are popular, and some which are not so popular. Life is both dynamic and experimental - and (for those of us who are so blessed to be part of this country) it goes on.

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Actually, it sounds pretty good to the tune of the Star Spangled Banner as well. Hmmmmmm.

 

Seriously, she made a political statement. Do with it as you will. Was the mayor of Denver's State of the City address the place to do it? I don't know. What's going on in Denver that might spark such a statement? In any event, she exercised her right to political expression. Big deal.

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Those words are better. If we're going to have a national anthem, let's have that.

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Those words are better. If we're going to have a national anthem, let's have that.

 

the union forever

horah boys horah

down with the traitors

up with the stars

while we rally round the flag

we'll rally once again

shouting the battle cry of freedom

Edited by retired
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this is almost like the swiss making Germany sing the Nazi lyrics to the National Anthem at the euro.....

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During the Euro (soccer cup) The producers at the stadium got the recording of Germany's national anthem that were the lyrics/music that were used during Nazi Germany, thus creating a "national anthem controversy"

 

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23888189-13762,00.html

 

That's just a dick move by the Swiss, it pales in comparison to what this woman did. And what she did is really nothing to make such a big deal about.

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Those words are better. If we're going to have a national anthem, let's have that.

 

No, if were gonna have a national anthem it should be America, Fuck yeah, from Team America.

 

Could you imagine that playing after we won a medal at the olympics?

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Posting a block quote of some comment not written by the poster without attribution is generally considered poor form. It only took a moment to track down the author and the original publication:

 

Mark Whittington writing for the Associated Press

 

Considering Mr. Whittington is the author of these words:

 

The most that can be said about The Case Against Barack Obama by David Freddoso is that as a critique it will have a target rich subject. David Freddoso will no doubt cover the extreme left wing policies, the unfortunate associations (Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, et al), and his lack of experience, poor judgment, and tendency to be duplicitous that describes Barack Obama.

 

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/838031/david_freddoso_publishes_the_case_against.html?cat=38

 

I think his political position and intent as a concern troll is pretty clear.

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That's just a dick move by the Swiss, it pales in comparison to what this woman did. And what she did is really nothing to make such a big deal about.

 

are you kidding? associating a bunch of soccer players with nazi politics at an international event pales in comparison to changing the words to a national anthem to uplift a particular community at an event in denver?

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Did you read the article?

SWISS television station SRG has apologised for mistakenly putting the words of the old Nazi Germany national anthem as subtitles instead of those of the present German one before the Euro 2008 Group B match with Austria on Monday.

 

Both the Nazi version and the present-day one come from the same song, 'das Deutschlandlied' composed by August Heinrich Hoffmann in 1841 from music by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn.

 

"It is an inexcusable error," one of those in charge of the subtitling service for the station told Blick, though he added it was the fault of two young female editors.

 

Used in its entirety as the national anthem from 1922, the Nazis, once they came to power, only sang the first verse.

 

Post World War II Germany sing just the third verse, and not the lines that inadvertent viewers were treated to on Monday which included 'Deutschland Deutschland uber alles.'

Switzerland (and Austria, the country Germany played that match) borders Germany and is a German-speaking country. Everybody there would know if the lyrics on the bottom of the screen didn't match up to what the crowd was saying (heck, because it's the same language, Germans, Austrians, and the Swiss probably all know each other's anthems anyways, for geographical, cultural reasons.). If one person missed it, somebody else would have pointed it out (no way in hell they're gonna be watching a national game alone. or, in the Swiss' case, watching a game between Germany and Austria alone).

 

Based on my small amount of first-hand knowledge of German culture, if there were Germans watching that game on that Swiss channel, they might be pissed at first, but then they'd laugh about it because they knew it had to be a mistake. Nobody would remember (or care) after the game, anyways.

Edited by Hellfish

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how would an "error" like that come about? they haven't used those lyrics in like 60 years. i can't even imagine the scenario where that can happen accidently.

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Posting a block quote of some comment not written by the poster without attribution is generally considered poor form.

 

I guess this comment is for me. As a debater, I should have known better. My apologies. I found one article which seemed to sum up the entire controversy and provide the lyrics in fairly short order. According to Google News, this story was covered in 162 publications. I should have cited and/or used a different article.

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are you kidding? associating a bunch of soccer players with nazi politics at an international event pales in comparison to changing the words to a national anthem to uplift a particular community at an event in denver?

 

Holy sh#$! I did not see that, my mistake! I'd like to switch those around, the woman changing the lyrics pales in comparison to what the Swiss did.

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