'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
O SAY CAN YOU SEE (AND HEAR) THIS SONG IS LOUSY?
I hope this doesn’t sound unpatriotic, because I truly love my country, but I do not like our national anthem. No, not one bit. “The Star Spangled Banner” is simply a lousy song.
Here in the middle of the Vancouver Winter Olympics I hope we hear the song a lot, but every time I hear our national anthem, I think to myself, “Oh America, America, with so many talented songwriters, that’s the best you can do?”
By the way, I can remember a time when the Winter Olympic organizers didn’t even bring a recording of “The Star Spangled Banner” to the games, such was the ineptitude of American athletes on snow and ice. But since women’s figure skating became popular, and especially since they’ve added a bunch of new sports that allow skateboarding slackers to do airborne tricks in the snow, the U.S. now can be counted on to win a handful of gold medals.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” has one positive point: it is our national anthem. So whenever we hear the song, it signifies something important. For instance, it means we just won a gold medal, or a ballgame is about to start, or it’s 5:30 a.m. and the local news-talk radio show is signing on and I’m going to be late for work if I don’t get out of bed RIGHT NOW. But that’s about it. There’s nothing else good about the song.
On the other hand, “The Star-Spangled Banner” has countless negative points:
Personally, I think our national anthem should be “America the Beautiful.” And ONLY the Ray Charles version. Now that’s a powerful song that can make a patriotic American stand proudly on his ramparts with the twilight’s last gleaming in his misty eyes.
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