Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Patti LaBelle Clangs Out The Anthem

It is normally pretty easy to find something to write about on Mondays in the fall. After all, this weekend we had some huge NFL games, college football games, NHL games, final tune-ups for the NBA season, and of course the World Series! But to be honest I was in such a state of shock yesterday after hearing Patti LaBelle's rendition of what I am pretty sure was the National Anthem at Game 4, I couldn't really get my mind straightened out enough to put coherent thoughts down.

I don't think it is a stretch to say it is the worst National Anthem in major sports history. Roseanne Barr set the previous bar pretty low, but she wasn't a singer and was singing it as a joke - almost in character. Shameful, sure. But you had to expect that. People who sing OK but forget the words are bad, but that is more embarrassing than anything else.

This was the perfect storm of terrible National Anthems: Patti LaBelle is a singer. That's her career. So you'd think she could knock out the Anthem without too much trouble. And you'd think she'd be able to remember all 100 words or so.

Granted: she was never a very good singer and granted: the Anthem is not an easy song. But this was astonishing. She sounded like your crazy aunt who is in the choir at church and who just belts out everything she sings with complete confidence (hands up, eyes closed, pained expression on her face) because she's tone deaf and has no clue how far off she is.

I understand that the thing to do when singing the Anthem seems to be to go put one's own personal touch on it: add notes, add words, add pauses and generally stretch it out as long as possible, but honestly at some point doesn't it become absurd? Isn't it a little weird to show such feigned emotion for the words you are singing when you aren't even singing the right words, so you clearly don't know what the song means anyway?

It starts out OK, but the first word of the second line, "by the dawn's early light," you know this one is gonna be a doozy. So without further ado, here is a link to the performance. The link I had found with the entire version was taken down, and this is the best I could find. Sorry about the advertisement. Be careful about playing this if you have dogs or small children around.

1 comment:

The Original Met fan said...

Why is the vieo no longer available? Is it because it was so awful or because La Belle is supposed to be a minority icon?