Our National Anthem

Americans Behaving ProudlyWhenever we view an international sporting event, we’re reminded anew how awful is our country’s national anthem. (Exhibit A: just listen to “Oh, Canada” and “The Star Spangled Banner” back-to-back.) Our song is about the flag, but it’s also about war, about perilous fights and bombs bursting in air. To some people – particularly those who occupy the White House – this might seem a thoroughly apposite expression of what the United States is all about.

We prefer to think of our country as a land of opportunity, of freedom, and of astonishing natural variety and beauty.

Which is why, it seems to us, the song “America, the Beautiful” would be a much better national anthem. Not only is it an easier song to sing, with a more memorable melody than “The Star Spangled Banner,” it celebrates the qualities that ought to be our country’s chief export, instead of weapons of mass destruction.

And, to the delight of religious folk, it makes the compulsory mention of God.

The harmony quintet Crescendo does a stellar version of “America, the Beautiful” on their new album. Every time we hear this lovely song, we’re proud to be an American. It moves us in a way that our current national anthem cannot. We wonder how many other patriots standing erect with their hand over heart feel likewise.

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