Saturday, April 29, 2006


I’m generally a nice person, open minded, politically liberal, and tolerant of all kinds of lifestyles. I really do believe that my rights end where someone else’s begin. I try not to make a fuss. But as laid back and easy going as I am, you can push too far and this week something made me mad enough to send letters to everyone I know as well as perfect strangers. Did you see this article in the news regarding our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner?

Latino Music Stars Craft New Version to Demonstrate Patriotism

I’ll post the whole article at the end of this rant. This is the gist: the brain child of British music executive Adam Kidron, some Latino musicians have concocted a version that Latin immigrants will find “less offensive”. In addition to the rewrite being in Spanish (isn’t this America? Don’t we speak ENGLISH here?) the most moving and historical passage of the song has been “toned down”.

Enough is enough. Prayer has been taken out of our schools, teachers are no longer permitted to have class projects surrounding any holiday for fear of “offending” someone, I heard recently that there’s a movement to stop our school children from starting their day by saying the Pledge of Allegiance. AND NOW the immigrants are upset by the fierceness of our National Anthem. Where is the spirit that founded our country? Where is our fierce pride, our desire to be ourselves and not just an outpost of England? Adam Kidron is upset by the number of Mexican flags at an immigrant demonstration so his answer is to change an AMERICAN tradition? This country was founded by immigrants, people so offended by their native country they left it and came here, to America, to start something new. Teddy Roosevelt said it best:

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
(Thanks to my writing partner and library friend for sending me this)

If we don’t get mad, and get vocal, in very few years the Americans will be huddled in a corner surrounded by immigrants all trying to serve two masters. Get mad. Get vocal and don’t buy the records Adam Kidron produces, not even the ones not altering our National Anthem. He doesn’t understand the principles America was founded on, but he will understand a cut in his income.

The whole article by Jim Avila as promised:

Spanish 'Star Spangled Banner' -- Touting the American Dream or Offensive Rewrite?
Latino Music Stars Craft New Version to Demonstrate Patriotism
April 27, 2006 - "The Star Spangled Banner" has provided the soundtrack to our national pastime since 1918, when the spirited tune debuted at a baseball game.
Now there is a new version with changes to the time-honored lyrics.
A group of Spanish music stars have presented their own take on the national anthem for Latino immigrants, in their native language, titled "Nuestro Himno" or "Our Anthem."
The idea came from British music executive Adam Kidron, who sympathized with the recent immigrant demonstrations but was troubled by the number of Mexican flags in the crowd.
He hopes the new Spanish-language version of the national anthem will demonstrate Latino patriotism and encourage more American flags at the demonstrations.
"It has the passion, it has the respect, it has all of the things that you really want an anthem to have and it carries the melody," said Kidron.
Altered Lyrics Tone Down Battle
"The Star Spangled Banner" has endured some extreme versions - from Jimmy Hendrix's explosive guitar rendition to one from soul signer Marvin Gaye - since Francis Scott Key first wrote the poem while watching the British bombard an American fort during the War of 1812.
The current version will likely spark debate, because it is not an exact translation. Some of the classic lyrics have been changed for rhyming reasons while other phrases were altered to soften war references. For example:
English version: And the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Spanish version: In the fierce combat, the sign of victory, the flame of battle in step with liberty through the night it was said it was being defended.
The original author's great-great grandson, Charles Key, finds the Spanish version unpatriotic and is adamant that it should be sung only in English.
"I think its a despicable thing that someone is going into our society from another country and changing our national anthem," Key said.
Those behind the new song say Key and others miss the point. The Spanish version is meant to show immigrant pride in a new country where they live and work.


land.downunder said...

what a lot of rubbish.
Let this whinning pom, mind his own business, let him return to or stay in the old dart!. Whilst working on the new lyics of
"God Save the Queen" for all the NON ENGLISH speaking of the U.K.

Dale said...

The National Anthem is as it is. I believe there is a gross difference between interpretting the National Anthem, as do some of those who perform it, and writing new words for it. Writing (publishing and promoting) new words isn't appropriate.