So word came out a few days ago that Beyonce lip-synched the Star Spangled Banner at the Presidential Inauguration on Monday. And, predictably, there’s the expected level of faux-outrage and indignation rearing its ugly head across the airwaves and, especially, the internet. I have to say that honestly don’t see what’s the big frakkin deal. My first thought was that it seemed like an odd choice for her to make, because Beyonce is no Roseanne Barr, she is a very good singer. And I’ve never heard of her being known to not perform live at her concerts and TV appearances. So what’s the deal?
Some have suggested that it was because of the cold weather, that she was worried that it would negatively affect her voice. If that’s true, I guess that’s a decent enough explanation for me. Even seasoned pros can screw up now and then, and this was the 2nd inauguration of the first Black President of the USA, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so that’s a lot of pressure, and she must have wanted to make sure everything sounded absolutely perfect, so she pre-recorded her voice. Maybe she should have had a bit more confidence in herself, practiced more, whatever. But, in the grand scheme of things, so what?
And let’s face it, if she had performed live and screwed up, even in a minor way, she would have been attacked for that, too. I recall when Christina Aguilera, who, in my opinion, is an even better natural singer than Beyonce is, flubbed the lines while singing The Star Spangled Banner during the Superbowl in 2011. Some folks reacted as if she’d burned an American flag, like she messed up on purpose. I recall lurking on one message board not long after that, and one commenter responded that he was angry when celebrities disrespect “the greatest song ever written.”
Hold up? Greatest song ever written? Really?!?
Hey, I’m all about patriotism, and being proud to be an American, and all that, but let’s not go overboard. It’s not the Greatest Song Ever Written. Heck, even as far as “patriotic” songs are concerned, I wouldn’t call it the best possible National Anthem. Sure it’s nice and, when song properly, can give you a swelling of pride in your chest when you hear those high notes, but it’s not an easy song to sing, or to even remember the lyrics. Therefor I’ve long thought that GOD BLESS AMERICA would be much better choice for the American National Anthem. Now that’s a song that the whole crowd could join in and sing along to when it’s sung during an event. Like the way crowds used to sing TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME during Baseball games. Or how about MY COUNTRY, TIS OF THEE? That’s a good one, for the same reasons.
Of course, I also think a much more radical choice would be a slightly reworked version of Queen’s WE WILL ROCK YOU. Not only is it a bad-ass song, but imagine how intimidating it would feel to the other countries when it’s played during the Olympics? Maybe I should start a White House petition…