I love this song. This is the best version. Happy July 4th.
Here’s a random factoid about Justin: I love the “Star Spangled Banner.” I don’t know, I just do. It is a beautiful song that has been performed millions of times, millions of different ways. The tune is so popular that when you get it wrong, people throw mad side-eye and you end up on the news. It’s about as American as you can get. I really don’t care how you feel about the state of the nation and it’s very real injustices on this particular day; I’m gonna talk about the best version of one of my favorite songs.
The year is 1991, (the year I was born and the year Dr. Seuss died-breaks even I think) the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants are set to battle for glory in Super Bowl XXV. With all sporting events, things need to be kicked off (I’m so sorry) with the national anthem and apparently this one needed to be special (Persian Gulf War). So they kept it simple; have an orchestra play the tune and bring one of the greatest vocalist of all time to sing. Whitney decided what if I sang the song without too much sauce and just give the people these notes.
And she did.
Jesus Christ, help me today.
Here’s the video, so we can point out some special moments:
I’m not a singer, don’t judge me.
1:28-“What so proudly we held” The purity of “proudly” and the whatever you call that on “held” is beautiful.
2:06- The power behind “And the rockets’ red glare” to the softening at “Gave proof…” a couple seconds later. DYNAMICS BABY!
2:32-The simplicity and rhythm going into “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave” ending with a FLAWLESS run on “wave” not detracting from the melody like many have done.
2:53-“Free” Here’s these effortless high notes.
3:00-“Brave” The decision making to just hold that note is so professional. Add the visual of arms spread wide on the first hit, right fist up on the second and then both up on the final hit with the band…
G O O S E B U M P S
It’s perfect. I don’t care AT. ALL. that it was pre-recorded. IT’S PERFECT. Whitney’s voice is absolutely incredible, sailing over the familiar tune. The band does their job, jets fly over and the crowd loses their minds.
I’m not crying.
Real quick, another one of my favorite anthems is when the Cleveland Cavaliers have the home crowd sing it: