The “Star-Spangled Banner” has been rendered unrecognizable by the vocal chords of enough people to fill any sports arena many times over.
But try they do, including a slew of entertainers who risk public shame for the sake of national pride and honor (see more videos below).
Forgiving audiences, it would seem, know that the words of a song — one set to an old English tune, no less — are no match for the heart of a patriot.
Mangled lyrics aside, the U.S. national anthem, written in Baltimore on this date in 1814 as “Defense of Fort McHenry” by lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key — turns 197 today.
It didn’t become the official national anthem until 1931, leaving plenty of time to botch the lyrics. Here are some more examples.