Mangling the national anthem

As an American singer, if there’s one song you should absolutely know inside and out, note for historic note – and certainly word for word – it’s our national anthem.

And one of the biggest venues to perform the “The Star-Spangled Banner” on is the Super Bowl pre-game stage.

I’m sure all were anticipating some hits and misses as the Green Bay Packers faced off against the Steelers.

Christina Aguilera’s version of the national anthem was a big time miss.

Not only did Aguilera forget the lyrics, but she actually sang the first verse twice, singing “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming …” instead of the correct “O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.”

What makes her lyric flub even worse, Xtina was quoted before the big day as saying:

“I have been performing the anthem since I was 7 years old and I must say the Super Bowl is a dream come true.”

You’d think one who has been singing the song for for so long would have the lyrics down pat.

So my question is this: Is Aguilera’s botched performance of “The Star-Spangeld Banner” going to affect her career? When Ashley Simpson was caught lip-syncing to her own song on “SNL” a few years back, her singing career never fully recovered. She was critically bashed and publicly disdained for committing such a performing faux paux – even though probably half of her peers can probably admit to doing the same thing at some point – they just weren’t called out on live TV.

But forgetting the lyrics at the year’s biggest and most televised sporting event is, in my mind, even worse then “faking the audience out” – and I’m not upset at Aguilera. I feel quite sorry for her. It’s every singer’s worst fear to forget the lyrics while performing, and that fear is multiplied by about 100 when that performance is in front of several million people and thousands of screaming fans on live TV.

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those things people talk about more than the commercials, more than the great half-time entertainment by the Black Eyed Peas and more than the Green Bay win.

Yes, unfortunately for her, all water cooler talk this week will be about Christina Aguilara repeating the wrong words to our national anthem while our troops in the Middle East cringed.

The pop diva was quoted after her shaky performance as saying, “I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of it’s anthem still came through.”

How did you feel about her performance? Did the “true spirit” still shine through for you?

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.