The GEM Debate:
Was Alicia Off “Key” For The National Anthem? (VIDEO)
There are certain rules we all follow as Americans. If you go to a ball game and they sing the national anthem; you stand. It’s pretty simple. There are some variations I suppose. There’s putting your hand or your hat over your heart, singing or not singing, waving a flag, but we all stand.
The new ruckus on the Super Bowl circuit is over Alicia Keys’s performance of the Star-Spangled Banner. Keys is a renowned pianist and playing during a performance is part of her “package deal” so to speak. At the Super Bowl she did what she does; she accompanied herself on the piano as she sang sitting down. Why, Alicia. Just why! Of course, in the age of social media, this got a little more attention than I believe it deserves with people calling the move “disrespectful”. Some people really don’t think. You can not play a piano and stand. I mean you can, but that seems more of a Ray Charles, Hit The Road Jack, concert type of performance (or even an Alicia Keys concert), but not something as eloquent as this rendition of the anthem.
How did people ever prove points before the Internet? The video above shows Whitney Houston with a full orchestra accompanying her and the cellist is sitting. Never heard anything about that being scandalous or even unpatriotic. So there. Did I just solve one of the bigger controversies plaguing our nation? Probably not, but that’s my two cents on that. If you are playing an instrument that requires sitting during the national anthem, you sit. Not doing so would be to perform the lesser version of the song (seeing as it is hard to play your instrument in a way it wasn’t intended to be played) and thus ruining our beloved Star-Spangled Banner.
And to those who were a little miffed that Keys put a few extra words at the end of the song, I kind of understand what you mean. After the poignant ending of, “and the home of the brave” Keys added, “Living in the home … home of the brave.” She didn’t add a verse, she added a word, but as a writer I do know that words count, have meaning, and can alter a perception of what was written. So for the sake of Francis Scott Key who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner, I’ll be slightly offended. As a patriot, not so much.
So what do you think of Alicia Keys sitting during the performance? Should she have ad-libbed those few words? Let us know if social media is letting everyone with a voice (including me) have way too big of an opinion!
More from GEM:
The GEM Review: Superbowl Ads 2013… What’s Your Favorite? (VIDEO)
The GEM Debate: Should The Monday After Super Bowl Sunday Be A Holiday?
Tandem Tantrums: How (And Why) To Let Your Child Run The Food Show
Ella Rucker is the mother of one of the smartest, funniest two-year-olds she’s ever met. She is currently assistant to the head GEM which means hats-a-plenty including writing, editing, and producing for Good Enough Mother. An Ohio native implanted in NYC for the last 13 years, Ella has achieved one of her many dreams by writing. Her musings (she’s amused they’d be called “musings”) can be found at other places on the web so make sure you follow her on twitter @ellalaverne for all the information.