I see Parade Magazine is asking again today if "America the Beautiful" should become our National Anthem?
I am a traditionalist but I admit that I would not be disappointed if Congress made such a change. The Parade article points out that "The Star-Spangled Banner" is generally regarded to be the most difficult national anthem to sing. The range between low notes to the high notes especially is beyond the range of many people.
When I attended Fort Wayne Komets games as a youth, the crowd would often join the organist by singing the National Anthem, but I think that pretty much stopped once the Komets made it a practice to have a soloist sing The National Anthem. Tim Didier does a great job currently but my favorite has always been Tim Blaylock, a black baritone who sang The National Anthem for the Komets many, many years ago.
I thought it was thrilling to watch the beginning of the Stanley Cup telecasts from Vancouver, B.C. this year because soloist Mark Donnelly has made it a practice to invite the Vancouver crowd to join him in the singing of "Oh, Canada." If you didn't see any of those telecasts, here is what I am talking about.
Mark Donnelly performs Canadian Anthem prior to Game 7 6/15/11
I would love to see citizens of the United States sing our National Anthem like that. If making "America the Beautiful" our National Anthem promotes that, then I support making that change. And if the line "God shed His grace on thee" isn't popular with some people, well, I guess that would just be too bad.
What do you think?