Every year around the Super Bowl I often turn into super critic after hearing someone sing the National Anthem before the big game. My biggest gripe is that the singer routinely turns the opportunity to bring the crowd together in national unity into something much more self-serving, bringing the spotlight on their performance instead. Performers often slow the song down to a ballad, which is contrary to the original intent of the song. It’s meant to be an uplifting tribute, not a schmaltzy ballad.
In all fairness, some have retorted in the past, “yes, but could you do better?” Fair enough. So here is a video of me singing “The Star Spangled Banner” into the webcam on my MacBook. I did this in one take, as if it was live. There’s no edits, no technological tricks, no auto-tune, no backing track. Just me singing the National Anthem a cappella. I cringe at the facial expressions I make and you probably will too. But this is how I sing the National Anthem, with just a touch of my personal inflection, in an effort to encourage others around me to join in if they so choose, at a nice jaunty pace.