Monday, 7 February 2011

Christina Aguilera's fluff versus Jimi Hendrix's fuzz: Super Bowl Star Spangled Banner

Poor old Christina Aguilera, booed for fluffing a line of Star Spangled Banner at the opening of Sunday's Superbowl in Texas.

The BBC reports on the offending line:
The singer should have sung: "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?" but repeated an earlier line with a slight variation. ... Instead of the correct line, Aguilera actually sang: "What so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming."

Have you ever read the entire lyrics? First verse goes:
O! say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Crikey! Not sure about rockets and bombs proving the existence of anything much except death and mayhem.

The Aguilera episode revives memories of Roseanne Barr a few years back when she stirred patriotic fervour and a heap of death threatage by squawking her way through the national anthem. What would today's audience make of Jimi Hendrix's musical commentary on US militarism at Woodstock in 1969? (See the video above.)

A pedant (Charles Shaar Murray) says that Jimi's version a few months later, immortalised in the Jimi Plays Berkeley concert movie, was even better, but acknowledges that Woodstock was the iconic performance. "Black man, white Strat, white jacket, white audience."

Cut the woman some slack, all. My only criticism of Sunday's over-singing would be, 'too many notes, Christina, too many notes'.


Robert said...

Was she singing, It sounded like to cats fighting....

What's New Magoo? said...

hahhaha .. omg this is going to be so bad for her PR. Something that could have been so good for her career has now flipped on her lol

Laban said...

The rockets were Congreve rockets, fired by the British during the War of 1812. The Brits had got the idea from the Indian rocket-men of Tipu Sultan's army.

Madam Miaow said...

Thanks for the info and the links, Laban. Interesting to know how far back this stuff goes.