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'Star-Spangled Banner' author may have been tone deaf
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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
July 3, 2014 - 9:17 pm
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GETTYSBURG Pa. - The author of the "The Star-Spangled Banner," which will ring out at thousands of baseball games and parades across the United States this Independence Day weekend, may have been tone deaf, according to a new biography.

As the 200th anniversary of the famously difficult-to-sing anthem approaches, the book "What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life," by historian Marc Leepson reveals some little-known details about Key and his tribute to the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

Read more...

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Oliver
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July 3, 2014 - 10:22 pm
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"famously difficult to sing"  ????   Sa Wat?

How about the famously incapable of singing (anything) ?

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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RosinedUp
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July 3, 2014 - 11:47 pm
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He wrote the song---that is, the words---not the music.

The story looks like a book promotion having some random factoids about Francis Scott Key, filed under "Breaking News". 

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Uzi
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July 4, 2014 - 12:15 am
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Since Francis Scott Key was a poet not a song writer, whether he was tone deaf or not is of no consequence.  The poem was later set to the melody of a drinking song from a British men's social club and became popular.  It was not the national anthem until the 1930's. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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coolpinkone
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July 4, 2014 - 12:19 am
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Cool Diane... I love your roving reports!!! Very cool!

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
July 4, 2014 - 7:30 am
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All great points!

I dont think the SSB is hard to sing, but even if it is, I don't think that we should change it for something easier. 

I totally forgot that Key only wrote the words. It wasn't a well written story anyway. Never said why they think he was tone deaf.

I just likd to go looking for music related stories. 

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Schaick
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July 4, 2014 - 8:41 am
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Not an anthem until 1931?  Yes I knew this and I sort of remember that it was a band director who made the Star Spangled Banner the anthem at one of the Olympic games.  

I really do not care for the words in the Star Spangled Banner which is really a song about a flag and war.  The following words are so much nicer, and more about the country.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
 
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.
 
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.
or how about
 

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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coolpinkone
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July 4, 2014 - 2:05 pm
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Diane.. I love your music stories in the news keep em coming. 

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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July 4, 2014 - 3:56 pm
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Whether Mr. Key was tone deaf or whoever the musical composer may be, 99.9% of the people who sing it ARE  tone deaf.

I love the song and what it stands for, but in all my 70+ years have only heard it sang / sung properly maybe two times.

When I hear it sang/sung at any event, I shudder and get cold chills when a well known artist hacks and ruins that song.

However! I do understand that it's not so much how it's sang/sung, it's the meaning of the words to the song. I just get irritated when they have a person who can't sing sing the song. Rosie O'donnell is a good example of that.

Jose Feliciano caught a lot of criticism here in 'Detroit' at the '1968' world series between the, St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers, but he expressed his feelings and I had no problem with is rendition. 

" God Bless America" and Happy Fourth of July to all.

us-4240

 

Ken.

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RosinedUp
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July 4, 2014 - 5:59 pm
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Fiddlestix said
Whether Mr. Key was tone deaf or whoever the musical composer may be, 99.9% of the people who sing it ARE  tone deaf.

I think more often they are just trying to draw attention to themselves.

I think the best measure of how well someone sings it is whether they succeed more in drawing attention to themselves or to the themes and feelings intended by the song.

Someone has done a bad job framing a picture if the frame gets more attention than the picture.

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Fiddlestix
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July 4, 2014 - 6:09 pm
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That very well may be, RU.

Good point, didn't think of it that way.

 

Ken.          

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
July 4, 2014 - 7:57 pm
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I think that's an excellent observation, @RosinedUp.

While improvisation is valued in certain musical genres and situations, I personally don't like when performers improvise and embellish the Star Spangled Banner. As you said, I think it only serves to draw attention to themselves and takes the focus off the anthem and what it represents.

The playing of the national anthem is supposed to be a solemn and respectful moment. That's why we stand, remove hats, place our hands over our hearts and face the flag.

The best performances, in my book, are when the performers sing it more or less as written. Of course, each singer contributes their own personal style, which is OK as long as it doesn't go to far.

I think a good example of what I'm talking about is Whitney Houston's famous performance at the 1991 Super Bowl.

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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coolpinkone
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July 4, 2014 - 8:23 pm
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This has been one of my long standing favorites ever. I love Whitney Houston.   I don't mind a little liberty taken with the Star-Spangled Banner ... Many times I have heard one that I appreciated and others reamed the person up and down.  I just like the song.. And I like most versions.  It is not the typical type of lyrics that I wish to hear or sing... But it was not a typical time or event that that song was written about.  I love playing it on the violin.  🙂 thanks @KindaScratchy.

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Fiddlestix
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July 4, 2014 - 8:31 pm
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@KindaScratchy:,, excellent performance, I miss the girl and her singing.

cry

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coolpinkone
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July 5, 2014 - 1:14 pm
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Same here Ken.  It was the music of my generation. Loved Miss Whitney.  Miss her music. I try to remember to play it here and there as I have several CDs.  Funny to think that my first album of hers was a Cassette :)

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Fiddlerman
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July 5, 2014 - 4:42 pm
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Whitney Houston to me is the highest achievement of perfection, voice control, musical expression possible.
Her early death was a shocking. Drowned in a bathtub in a hotel room at 48. Drugs, and artists.... such a shame.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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