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Sunday, September 14, 2014


Michael Muskal had an enjoyable article today about our National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner (at Fort McHenry):
  • At dawn on this day 200 years ago on a British ship, Francis Scott Key was inspired to write a poem he called "Defence of Fort McHenry."
  • He later took the melody of British composer John Stafford Smith's To Anacreon in Heaven, which has something to do with Venus and Bacchus making love--it is known in the United Kingdom as The Drinking Song--and voila, The Star Spangled Banner (click to hear how this song was probably sung in the early days).
  • President Barack Obama visited Fort McHenry on Friday to view the original manuscript.
Any acclaimed list of our National Anthem usually features popular entertainers:

Undoubtedly, the best performance of all time is Whitney Houston's at the 1991 Super Bowl opening in Tampa.

Indisputably, a memorable one was Roseanne Barr's rendition at a San Diego Padre's baseball game with Cincinnati in 1990 where she grabbed her crotch.  At least she got the words right.  However, said to be the absolute worst is Kat DeLuna's 2008 misterpiece for the Dallas Cowboys. 

However, a case can be made for the triumphant U.S. Military Chorus at the 2005 Super Bowl before Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush the Elder.

How does our National Anthem rank with those of the world?  UNESCO in 2008 declared the Indian NA, Jan Gan Man Adhinayak...Jai hey, as the best.  Get a Smartphone application.  View a typical ten best, which begins with Japan's Kimigayo, goes on to France's La Marseillaise (from Casablanca, maybe the best ever, certainly inspirational),  and picks God Defend New Zealand as #1, where there are Maori and English versions.  God Save the Queen is also a co-NA.
You would think The Star-Spangled Banner must rank near the bottom, as it is hard to sing and not that many citizens truly know the full lyrics.  However at the 2014 World Cup (you can view the top ten by clicking here), we came in #3 to Brazil at #2 and Chile #1.  Cameroon was last at #32.

Hurricane Odile is a very dangerous 125 MPH hour storm off Baja, but seems inclined to just move parallel to land:

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Edouard will soon gain Category 3 status, but will move away from the USA:


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