The Time Has Come to Change the National Anthem!

Aaron Copeland: Appalachian Spring. (It works well as a chamber orchestra piece too.)

If you insist on a vocal piece: “I was born under a wandering star” from Paint Your Wagon. If Lee Marvin could sing it, anyone can.

I agree. “America, Fuck Yeah” from Team America FTW

I think you need something that can be played by a marching band. Something like this.

Your link also gives a Confederate version for the lyrics. I’d think that makes it also problematic.

If changing the national anthem gets any traction, you just know that there would be a vocal contingent that would push for, urgh, “Dixie”.

Ironic: The local radio station announced yesterday - it was the anniversary of Francis Scott Key writing the lyrics.

I don’t think so. It was a Unionist song written by a pro-Union composer. The tune and lyrics were so popular some people adopted it into a pro-Confederate song, but its original meaning, and lyrics, are clear. The National Anthem would clearly not use the Confederate lyrics, and as the anthem is generally sung aloud it’s unlikely there would be confusion. The pro-Union version is also much better known.

FWIW most 19th century songs are set to a tune that was reused by lots of other songs, many of them offensive. You can find offensive lyrics to pair with most popular music of the 19th century, and even songs like God Save the Queen have music that has been set to inappropriate lyrics in other songs.

The most likely issue with using the Battle Cry of Freedom as the anthem is more that the pro-Union version would be decried as “offensive” to all the ass hats in the Deep South moreso than the risk of neo-Confederates using it. (Neo-Confederates already use and embrace many symbols of American patriotism, so there is nothing you can do about that.)

Also the Battle Cry of Freedom says down with the traitor…

I like the song. I like Battle Hymn of the Republic too.

But ‘down with the traitor’. Isn’t that almost as bad as ‘scatter our enemies and make them fall…’ ? Maybe even worse :grimacing: ?


Maybe we could just adopt/adapt La Marseillaise. After all, it has a great scene in Casablanca.

I consider Battle Cry’s aggressive anti-Confederate lyrics to be a desirable feature.

Indeed. I can’t remember which ancient novel I found this in, but evidently some Victorians considered it highly amusing to persuade someone to sing the national anthem of Thailand (then known as Siam): that very tune, with the words “O Wattana Siam”.

Actually, I prefer “Great American Melting Pot.” Although that metaphor has fallen out of fashion, in favor of the Great American Salad. Just not catchy, IYAM.

On another note, the “proper” lyrics to the Pete Seegar tune as I learned them:

This land is my land
It isn’t your land
I’ve got a shotgun
And you ain’t got one!