Friday, July 17, 2009

Music, Patriotism, Hard Times, and Hope

I love our national anthem, especially the words but also the melody. When I ran across this rendition of the Star Spangled Banner the other day, performed at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, I was initially troubled by the boisterousness of the crowd and concerned that all of the American Idol frenzy might mean that the anthem would not receive the reverence it deserved. After hearing the video in its entirety, however, it seems to me that Adam Lambert's version actually may have subdued and inspired the crowd to the point where the cheers became at least as much for our country as for the singer's celebrity. I hope you'll take a moment to listen. I'd love to hear your thoughts on whether the crowd's enthusiasm for Lambert really did segue into patriotism for our country. (After you've heard it, please stick around to hear one more before reading my thoughts at the bottom of this post.)

Adam did a great job, but this is the rendition that still and always makes me cry:

Gives me the chills. Every time. It did then, and it does now.

It also fills my heart with a bit of sadness, because I feel like that was an easier, more simple period in our history. Sure, there were problems, as there always will be, but the answers seemed clearer and the consensus about their solutions greater. Today I see my children's lives touched by a level of social, economic, and political turmoil that I never had to experience as I was raising them. My prayer for them, and for all of us, is that we will all be able to harness the patriotism, pride, and determination portrayed in these quintessential moments of unity through song and bring them into our every day living. If we can––and I believe we not only can but must––then we will also be able to support and uphold the United States of America, no matter how difficult the struggle becomes.


Jill said...

I cried through both of them. The way Adam sang the line, "that our flag was still there" was the best! I think now I will always notice that phrase. I'd never heard him before...what a gorgeous voice!

karen said...

Adam is good, but nobody NOBODY sings like Whitney Houston! This past July 4th was very emotional for me - I'm always very proud of our country, but this year I got teary with emotion during the National Anthem and fireworks.

Momza said...

goosebumps. Beautiful. thank you. I love this country so much.

SnarkyMama said...

It is certainly no secret that I am the ultimate "Adam-izer." I boldy stepped out of that closet the first time I ever heard the boy sing. (Even when my dear daughter and others gave me grief).

There is no doubt that the crowd was responding to his performance. I like to believe that he was able to "touch the hearts" of some young people, prompting them to think about the treasured freedoms they enjoy in this great country.

Even if they started listening for the "wrong" reasons...maybe the end result will be they will never forget his singing and the chill bumps they had to have felt. He made the words believable...maybe, just maybe, what started as cheers for Adam ended being cheers for America, as well.

p.s. thanks for stopping by Snarky Mama...I am thinking another post is in the near future :)

NBlake said...

Both are awesome. I love the way Adam interpeted the song and sang it without any instrumentation. It just made it simple and powerful. Man, can he sing.

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