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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Picking Your Own National Anthem

I caught some of Charlie's show today, while he was talking about a woman invited to sing the National Anthem at a city council meeting, but who instead sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing," known as the "Black National Anthem."

Sorry, I didn't catch any of the details. The woman said something about wanting to express what being a black woman in America meant to her.

If I'd been the guy who asked her in to sing, I'd have been pretty annoyed about it, but read the lyrics. They're very positive: basically, things have really sucked for quite a while, but now we're here, and it's all looking up, up, up. And thanks a lot, God, for bringing us here.

One might wonder how this particular singer interpreted the last line: "True to our native land." But still.

Anyway. This whole thing reminded me of a radio show debate I heard years - maybe decades ago. I think it was Sly's show. Yes, he's that old. Yes, so am I.

The question was: which is more patriotic, Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA,"

...or Jimi Hendrix's version of "The Star Spangled Banner?"

I didn't know which one to choose back then, and I still can't decide today.