Attention singers of the Star Spangled Banner: a request

Would you mind, please, once you’ve hit the “free” note — the fermata — just plain holding it? I can understand why you might want to show off your Mariah Carey range or your Justin Timberlake boy-band vibrato, but honestly… you make the song suck. And frankly, as far as I would know, your goofing around with it is nothing more than an indication that you lack the skill to hold it.

And especially, if I may, I would request that if you simply cannot resist adding the falsetto octave, please at the very least spare us the traid climb toward it. You know, it may not be a great song or anything, but in the proper context, it can be quite a rousing tune, and it is already written the way it should be sung.

All you’re gonna get from me when you ad lib that note is a deeply contemptuous eye-roll and an “Oh, dear God, here we go…”

All great artists suffer for their art. :slight_smile:

The panel on American Idol or one of those shows finally came out and said they were totally not diggin’ the “vocal gymnastics” thing, and anyone who relied on it was going to suffer in the voting. Bra-fucking-vo!

I agree. I appreciate the song more when someone can sing it the way it’s supposed to be sung.
If you ever get the chance to hear Martina McBride sing it, oohhhh boy, she nails it. Best version ever, because it was pure, and because she has a terrific voice. Very powerful.

To unite a couple of messages here into one big stinking pile of suck, the person who is currently singing the national anthem before Dallas Stars hockey games is no other than former American Idol contestant Celena Rae. Every time I go to the game, I just want to punch her in the face and scream “just sing the damn song and stop trying to ‘make it your own’.”

Vocal gymnasitics make me want to puke. News flash: people didn’t come to the game to hear you sing.

They suck every time they’re used. It’s far more impressive and better sounding to hear someone hit a note and keep it rather than do vocal gymnastics all around it. Also sounds more skilled to boot.

One of my major peeves. I’m a season ticket holder to the Buffalo Bills (it was more fun a few years ago.) When Phantom of the Opera was in Toronto, they invited the lead come down and sing the anthem for one game.

I’ve never heard an operatic version before and I shudder to think that I might again. It lasted about twice as long as it should have.

A startling thing I encountered in Baltamore was the whole crowd yelling “O’s” at the top of their lungs at the proper moment. Scared the shit out of me.

The one that set me off in particular was from the ultimate cage fighting match last night. She hit the note cleanly enough, but then suddenly began this ungodly shrill stairstep climb. Up a third, up a fifth, and then finally the beating of the baby seal — a note not intended for a treble violin, let alone a human voice.

They should all have to sing it along with the Marine Corps Band. No dicking around, sing it like it was written or get left behind. It’s a major peeve of mine, but nothing like it is to my dad.

I don’t mind the ‘vocal gymnastics’, depending on how it’s done. I’ve heard some people use them when it was obvious that they couldn’t hold the note to save their life. When used sparingly as an add-on, it adds some enjoyment. At least for me.

While I wholeheartedly agree with the OP, my girlfriend loves it. I just leave the room when O! Canada (which also suffers) is going to be sung, now.

Hehehe, they do this at the Stars’ games, too. Although, they’re obviously shouting “stars” at the appropriate times, not “O’s”. I always have to wonder if they warn the first-time performers (when they had them, and not just the current over-singing yodeller) about it ahead of time.

I found this barbershop quertet version and even they get carried away at the end, but it’s otherwise pretty good.

I found that link here by the way.

The famous Whitney Houston version on that page has some vocal gymnsatics, but far fewer that expected. I think is is a great performace despite a few extra notes thrown in. If I had heard that live in the stands at the time, I would probably end up bawling in on National TV.

Why stop with “The Star Spangled Banner” they should just stop it altogether in everything, except their own crappy songs, which no one really wants to hear anyway!

What made the Whitney Houston version good, despite a little bit of vocal gymnastics, is that she was the first one to do it, or at least the first one to do it that you noticed. Everyone SINCE then has been trying to out-Whitney Whitney.

Amen to that. I guess what makes TSSB so bad is that the note — what is it? a high F or something? — only serves to accentuate the shortcomings of the singer. I can see where Whitney might have nailed it. But it’s the bent nails that are so excruciating.

Oh, it appears that I made an error. My girlfriend angrily informed me that… well, I’m not really sure what she informed me of, but I know that I was wrong. I still leave the room when O! Canada is going to be sung, though.

Oh, absolutely. I hate the fact that it has become a performance piece, anyway. I know, I’m old, but why can’t we just go back to instrumental support for the audience to sing it?
However, if there has to be a solo, can we at least get it up to tempo? It’s a national anthem, people, not a dirge.

Case in point: Carl Lewis