85 Years of Mangling the 'Star-Spangled Banner' as Our National Anthem
It's all President Herbert Hoover's fault.
By CALVIN LAWRENCE Jr.
March 3, 2016, 3:12 PM
• 5 min read
-- President Herbert Hoover likely had no clue what havoc he would wreak when he signed a congressional act 85 years ago today making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States.
In essence, he gave formal license to all of us to have our way with the song, as comedian Roseanne Barr once did. So, over the years, it has been butchered enough times to raise questions about the sanity of all but those blessed with the truest voices and sharpest memories, like the late Whitney Houston, who dare risk the public shame and humiliation.
But that hasn’t stopped them, and even the most accomplished of performers like Steven Tyler have fallen painfully short (see other videos below).
Mangled lyrics and cracked voices aside, "The Star-Spangled Banner” -- written in Baltimore Sept. 14, 1814, as poem “Defense of Fort M'Henry,” by lawyer Francis Scott Key -- has been the national anthem since March 3, 1931.
That’s more than enough time, unintentionally or otherwise, to trample all over its majesty. Here are other examples: