Aretha Franklin’s National Anthem Was Neither ‘Stirring’ Nor ‘Memorable’
Unless you're living under a rock, you MUST have heard Aretha's version of the National Anthem. Hell, it's probably still going on. Here it is, in case you missed it.
Now, the NFL being who they are, will probably remove the video. If they did, you're better off NOT seeing it. It was a 4 and a half minutes of humming and indistinguishable words, strewn together in one big, incoherent mess. UPDATE: They DID make it so it couldn't be embedded but you can still click on "Watch on YouTube." But be warned! It is the REAL video of Aretha singing the National Anthem.
Jim Nantz called it, "stirring and memorable." Fun fact: It was neither "stirring nor "memorable." It was long... very long and drawn out and boring and 4 minutes and 35 seconds you or I will never get back. I think he (Nantz) said it to be nice. Of course, if he had said the opposite, our country of safe space snowflakes would have ripped him a new a-hole, talking about how she's an American treasure. An icon. How DARE he demean her. Aretha the Legend. The Queen of Soul. He said what he was supposed to say, to keep the peace. So CBS didn't get bombarded with emails and calls about how Jim Nantz needs to be removed from the broadcast booth and never work in this industry again because he said mean things. Good on you, Jim.
Now, don't get me wrong. Aretha Franklin is all of the above.
- The Queen of Soul
- A living legend
- An icon
And, she can still sing. In between the mumbled words and humming, there's still a voice there. I mean, for crying out loud, she's been doing it for longer than most of us have been alive. But last Thursday? That was NOT good. Not good at all. On a national stage on one of the biggest holiday's of the year. No. Please. No.
Sure, she's up there in age (74) but if you really listen to it and take out about 75% of the piano and voice "runs" and "riffs" where the singer tries to do a run the whole musical scale with one word, (that's the best way I can describe it) she can still sing. All those runs were not necessary. And frankly, this goes for all singing competition shows: STOP IT! Just sing the song. We don't need to hear your stupid "vocal range" to know that you can sing.
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, stop saying it was "stirring" and "memorable". It was neither. It wasn't beautiful and eloquent. It wasn't. It just wasn't.
I think that anyone who is asked to sing the National Anthem before a sporting event, should have to watch the Whitney Houston version from the 1991 Super Bowl. Each person that sings it, should be told, "THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT! YOU DO IT LIKE THAT!"
This still gives me chills. If it doesn't give you chills, then you hate America.