Why the US national anthem is terrible - and perfect

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Vox's Estelle Caswell and Joss Fong debate "The Star Spangled Banner"
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When Francis Scott Key attached his poem about the War of 1812 to a popular British song called "To Anacreon in Heaven," he kicked off over 200 years of painfully bad singing by patriotic Americans. The Star Spangled Banner became the official national anthem of the United States in 1931, but it had been used by the Army and Navy for decades before that and was popular from the start. One big problem? The melody wasn't exactly written for the masses, but for trained soloists.
Commentators pointed out early on that it was exceedingly difficult for most people to sing, suggesting that "America the Beautiful" might be a better alternative. Critics have noted that the music requires a uniquely wide vocal range, it's full of tricky intervals, and the lyrics are confusing and uninspiring.
But if you look at the national anthem as a sport, where we get to watch performers at the top of their game tackle the gauntlet that is the Star Spangled Banner, you may come to appreciate it. In this video, we debate whether the difficulty of the Star Spangled Banner is a feature or a bug for a national anthem.
Further reading:
Star-Spangled Banner: The Unlikely Story of America's National Anthem www.amazon.com/Star-Spangled-Banner-Unlikely-Americas-National/dp/1421415186
Star Spangled Music: starspangledmusic.org/
Slate: Proudly Hailed www.slate.com/articles/arts/music_box/2014/07/the_star_spangled_banner_four_reasons_it_shouldn_t_be_the_national_anthem.html
Emily Cope: medium.com/@emilybcope/music-to-what-extent-does-the-star-spangled-banner-illustrate-how-melody-and-rhythm-influence-the-aff2c78853ed
Some songs don't just stick in your head, they change the music world forever. Join Estelle Caswell on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs.
Check out the entire Vox Earworm playlist here: bit.ly/2QCwhMH
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4-Iyl, 2018

vox.comvoxexplainnational anthemstar spangled banneramerican national anthemwhy the national anthem is so hard to singnational anthem voxjuly 4thearwormvox national anthemworst national anthemsbest national anthemsfrancis scott keynational anthem debatejoss fongestelle caswell



Yuklab olish:


Saqlab olish:

Mening pleylistlarim
Keyinroq ko‘rish
Fikrlar 10 012
Vox 7 oy oldin
If you want to learn more about the anthem, check out this site: starspangledmusic.org/blog/ They're obsessed with the Star Spangled Banner and have tons of interesting facts and videos. This book by Marc Ferris is also really interesting www.amazon.com/Star-Spangled-Banner-Unlikely-Americas-National/dp/1421415186/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
HTHTV3 2 oy oldin
@2:22 Most do not believe that *that mic* wasn't on when the late great #WhitneyHouston sung it... is there any proof? The studio where she supposedly pre-recorded it? #Receipts? Many may aim to revoke accolades she honestly earned.
JESUS Loves cats
JESUS Loves cats 3 oy oldin
I really thought it was terrible
Jack Daniels
Jack Daniels 3 oy oldin
Vox thanx .. for your advice... although I am a saudi man I love to listen to the US National Anthem.
I love noodles
I love noodles 4 oy oldin
Vox This is an insult and un American. How dare you!!!!
Toryu-Mau 5 oy oldin
... So... Git Good? >):^?
Maria Rose
Maria Rose 9 daqiqa oldin
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago anthem sounds *SUPER* british. So its actually in a very easy octave to sing. The only catch is that you have to hold some notes. It can put you out of breath ngl. Also i find it so odd that you guys only use your anthem at national events. Down here up till college we sing it at assembly every morning and at any school related function as well as national events. Yal really dont do that? We even recite the National Pledge in the mornings too.
freedomoffandoms /freedomofandoms
Whoooooa don't do "Lift Every Voice And Sing" like that, it's the black national anthem
Top Hat
Top Hat 6 soat oldin
God save the Queen is much better.
Lucas Pardo
Lucas Pardo 7 soat oldin
That's why I love the spanish anthem, there are no lyrics. You can't sing badly if you don't sing =D
JACKIE J 10 soat oldin
The best version of the star spangled banner is the Jimi Hendrix version
pulakification 19 soat oldin
Germany national anthem is good .. I heard it in formula 1.
nyc anna
nyc anna Kun oldin
most singers should be able to sing 12 notes. singers like brendon urie can sing in all 4 vocal ranges. its not that hard.
Free Spirit
Free Spirit 2 kun oldin
GamingMint 2 kun oldin
*Stop VOX*
Jan D
Jan D 2 kun oldin
The US should just make "This land is your land, this land is my land" their anthem. Also, imagine your current president trying to sing the anthem. He doesn't even know the words, lol.
Julia Shab
Julia Shab 2 kun oldin
All rise for the national anthem . . . *Is this the real life, is this just fantasy*
Marsbar Marsbar
Marsbar Marsbar 2 kun oldin
I saw this video under up next and I thought ok what does this jackass have to say and then I saw the and perfect and I was like oh😂
Julia Burch
Julia Burch 3 kun oldin
Yall have obviously never listened to the podcast punch up the jam with miel and Demi. Demi made a PERFECT new anthem while talking about the old one, and y'all should really check the podcast out
B 12
B 12 3 kun oldin
Sad you can’t remember the lyrics to the star spangled banner, but can to mo bamba.
B 12
B 12 3 kun oldin
It’s not the songs fault you can’t sing.
lordfullofyogurt 3 kun oldin
Watch Adam Neely.
Loel Azarcon
Loel Azarcon 3 kun oldin
Well how rude
Kendrick Hernandez
Kendrick Hernandez 3 kun oldin
I’ve sang this song since I was born...so I know the words by heart. Ive never met anyone who could not memorize this song or learn the words. And yes I watched the whole video. Can’t say I agree...but eh.
Will 1
Will 1 4 kun oldin
I get chills when I sing the greatest song ever made dedicated to the greatest country in the world tf you talking about replacing it shame on you
Shiro Kobayashi
Shiro Kobayashi 4 kun oldin
I actually love the US anthem. It's my third fave out of the 12 anthems ive heard 💙💙 love from phil 💙
Edzilla Notlastname
i haven't sung the athem in years
Gam Jam
Gam Jam 4 kun oldin
Doesn't it have racist lyrics too?
underestimated kid
underestimated kid 4 kun oldin
I like Indian national Anthem because it's short and easy to sing I don't know which language it is
nata 4 kun oldin
Indonesia Raya spans 12 notes and yes, I can't sing lowest and the highest note.
IGitzDiz 5 kun oldin
Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer 6 kun oldin
The extra notes are meant to show off
Alex Leigh
Alex Leigh 6 kun oldin
i liked the jose felliciono
Neon Light
Neon Light 6 kun oldin
America needs something like USSR. That anthem has a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm. Also America copied the song "To Anacreon in heaven".... made in the UK.
Erdyanto Dwi Nugroho Zheng
+Will 1 Yeah, the lyrics was made by Francis Scott Key, but the tones were not made him, he was taken the Anacreontic Song (To Anacreon in Heaven) that actually from British song into this. He made to be higher notes than the original version (I mean the Anacreontic Song). So that's why, nobody can sing this anthem and just the trained singers can sing this. To me, I can sing this because I am trained singer when I was in school choir...........
Will 1
Will 1 4 kun oldin
Neon Light wait wut the American anthem is naturally made by Francis Scott key
Joel Dick
Joel Dick 6 kun oldin
I always loved the lyrics of Hail, Columbia: Hail, ye heroes, heav'n-born band, Who fought and bled in freedom's cause, Who fought and bled in freedom's cause, And when the storm of war was gone Enjoy'd the peace your valor won. Let independence be our boast, Ever mindful what it cost;
gareter saudi arabia السعودية العظمى
Islamic anthem then Allah make amirca garet agien
Lil Sergeant
Lil Sergeant 7 kun oldin
It was poem it wasn’t written with being the national anthem in mind
Artemis420 7 kun oldin
O say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam In full glory reflected now shines in the stream: 'Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! And where is that band who so vauntingly swore That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion A home and a country should leave us no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave! (For everyone else trying to sing it while watching this)
Gam Jam
Gam Jam 4 kun oldin
Artemis420 that's not the full song thou
Kalani W
Kalani W 7 kun oldin
How about the Australian National anthem?
I'm Happily In Pain
I like the anthem
Sandwich Vendor
Sandwich Vendor 8 kun oldin
if this was released in the 70s and not so popular hipsters would be calling it the most genius song ever.
Brian Kehinde
Brian Kehinde 9 kun oldin
"Free" is on a note most people can't reach. How appropriate.
alejandro ojeda
alejandro ojeda 9 kun oldin
Our national anthem is so easy to sing, everyone can do it, and I mean it even you can, right now,... I'm from Spain.
Bill Branning
Bill Branning 10 kun oldin
When I was young, everyone sang it at various events.
FlopDudeGaming 10 kun oldin
Communist spy. Go back to Russia. Jk
Paz y Amor
Paz y Amor 10 kun oldin
Wait absolutely loved felicianos version ❤️
Frella Forever
Frella Forever 11 kun oldin
Guess I have an unnatural voice, I have a 14 note range. From B3 to G5.
Kevin 11 kun oldin
melanie 12 kun oldin
LA MARSEILLAISE !!! 🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷
MrMeowington 12 kun oldin
woah dude, even our national anthem is better lmao 😂
ALDC Llama Cat
ALDC Llama Cat 12 kun oldin
I think it's better that it's hard because it makes it more impressive when people sing it because not everyone can do it.
Captain Boom
Captain Boom 12 kun oldin
Chill all of you are just trash at singing
wesmatron 13 kun oldin
It originated as a bawdy drinking song in England
Dinosuar Lover
Dinosuar Lover 14 kun oldin
i can sing it ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Viktor Nikiforov
Viktor Nikiforov 14 kun oldin
Dude...it's not that hard when you can sing. But I sing it chorally, and I have to hit a high b flat at the end, since that's the first soprano part. I could never sing it all in my chest voice.
ssplintergirl 14 kun oldin
It takes skill to be an american
Nela MSG
Nela MSG 14 kun oldin
José Feliciano is a master 👌🏻
YardBird Suite
YardBird Suite 14 kun oldin
what do all these singers have in common... there all drug addicts
Mike Hunt.
Mike Hunt. 14 kun oldin
It's an awesome anthem prove me wrong. *Watches video. Yeah you failed. 🇺🇸🦅
Austyn Guevara
Austyn Guevara 14 kun oldin
Pablo Munoz-Snyder
Pablo Munoz-Snyder 15 kun oldin
They brought on a music theorist and didn't even talk about the textbook secondary dominants that exist in this song. They must think that we are too dumb to appreciate that.
Edu Melero Verdú
Edu Melero Verdú 15 kun oldin
Pretty disappointed you didn't include Rosseanne's rendition, but very enjoyable video overall, nonetheless.
Sunset Gao
Sunset Gao 16 kun oldin
You can sing something proudly without sounding good you know...
macdaddyalexis 16 kun oldin
I was waiting for Mariah!!!
macdaddyalexis 16 kun oldin
Only Mariah and Whitney sung it perfectly.
Maya S
Maya S 16 kun oldin
Lady Gaga's rendition in 2016 is the best imo.
Niggers Suck
Niggers Suck 17 kun oldin
Ok Vox, continue with your leftism hating America agenda.
Colonel Catnip
Colonel Catnip 17 kun oldin
This is like saying Freddie Mercury’s music was terrible because most people can’t sing his range...
Violet Rose
Violet Rose 17 kun oldin
So you didn’t talk about how it used to be a drinking or song or that fact that there a stanza of the original poem by scott key that celebrates the death of slaves? :( (If you don’t believe me you can look it up)
not a asshole
not a asshole 18 kun oldin
Our national anthem isn't the best and easiest to sing. But still very very beautiful
Christian Eesa
Christian Eesa 18 kun oldin
Sing it no matter how bad u sound It's of the people by the people for the people Proud to sing it and praise it
Morpheus Hill
Morpheus Hill 18 kun oldin
I don't know about you, but an anthem is not made to be sung in perfect pitch by every member of that nation. It is a representation of that nation, be it's morals, prowess, or resolve. Nothing sums America up more than the star spangled banner. People seem to truly forget the sacrifices that were made to make our unique nation. On that day men literally were dying to keep the flag flying by grouping together and holding the pole up while under bombardment from the British. Not for just the flag, but for the belief behind it. A free America, the star bangled banner tells that story. It shows how patriotic Americans are, and how passionate we are for our free states. Wanting to change it because it's difficult to sing is dumb, lastly, claiming our nation for our own was not easy, and holding that flag up on that day wasn't either. Maybe you can make the sacrifice as well and sing the song, regardless of it's difficulty
superrowen 18 kun oldin
5:37 this guy's voice is in Jaden Smith - Icon
Buzz Offer
Buzz Offer 18 kun oldin
The notes are not that bad and is actually within the average range of a normal human voice, although the jumps are far apart, the notes are still reasonable, you guys just suck at singing
deja labeija
deja labeija 18 kun oldin
The trailblazers coach warmed my heart 💞
Kawaii Love
Kawaii Love 18 kun oldin
um... i can sing it without screaming... it’s not difficult....i mean...either i’m super wrong or i’m kinda talented...idk what it is.........
Kelvin Adithya
Kelvin Adithya 19 kun oldin
It's nice to see them to make rendition of that song. In Indonesia, people are so butthurt that if you make the rendition of the anthem, they will sue you
DANIEL ERON 19 kun oldin
Yeah, I’ve always thought that this anthem sucks , nice to see that I’m not the only one
kalvin john
kalvin john 19 kun oldin
The "last gleaming" is hard and also remembering
Iain 19 kun oldin
Our national anthem is perfect and it shall never change. Merica!
ratchet 19 kun oldin
My country's national anthem has very few lyrics yet takes forever to sing
Martin Nunez
Martin Nunez 20 kun oldin
Donald J. Trump
Donald J. Trump 20 kun oldin
God Bless America
marinara724 21 kun oldin
any american who doesn't know our anthem disappoints me
D. Cho
D. Cho 22 kun oldin
We Murica's national anthem is always the best... Perfect in any way 😂😂
Elijah Schmidt vlogs
2:43 rip 1994 world series
James WhiteField
James WhiteField 22 kun oldin
Ah more leftist vox propaganda, gotta love it!!!
Skrixzy 22 kun oldin
shut up go make a biased article
SantosZox 22 kun oldin
Do they really not know the words? Idk why they just fit naturally together in my heads I can't imagine not knowing the words. It tells a story very vivid imagery.
Josiah Warren
Josiah Warren 23 kun oldin
For the record Whitney did perform a 100% live version during her welcome home heros special!
Michael Amankwah-Baidu
*America wants to know your location*
European Guy
European Guy 23 kun oldin
In my opinion i think national anthems are supposed to bring the spark of hope in the people
James Boyle
James Boyle 23 kun oldin
Actual best national anthem is Kazakhstan’s from Borat
that one cuber
that one cuber 24 kun oldin
The best anthem is fhe soviet anthem
NotAYouTubeStar 24 kun oldin
Brittish propaganda
Robert Latorre
Robert Latorre 24 kun oldin
7:40 nice name
Chad Ganshirt
Chad Ganshirt 24 kun oldin
We shouldn't change it.
Bork cream
Bork cream 24 kun oldin
Let’s use that song where we stole the tune of some other national anthem! *M Y C O U N T R Y T I S O F T H E E*
Nogger Fogger logger 69
MediumMemeMaster 25 kun oldin
Here’s why the anthem sucks; You hear it everyday in school and must listen to it every day. The lack of a choice makes it hated. No one cares about it. The country is great, anthem sucks
Michael Mangraviti
Michael Mangraviti 25 kun oldin
Replace the American National Anthem with the Soviet anthem then boom perfect.
Mithren 25 kun oldin
This is pretty disrespectful. “The song is too hard to sing, it sucks” like, come on.
Mr Pete
Mr Pete 25 kun oldin
Vox needs to shut up
Dakota 26 kun oldin
Who’s playing the national anthem at 0:55
Sofia's World
Sofia's World 26 kun oldin
Why the UZvid channel Vox is terrible...
Avionic7779x 26 kun oldin
Just. Let. The. Armed. Forces. Sing. The. Anthem. Please
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