Most of you know that I’m a musician. Went to school for it and everything. Because of that, I’ve spent a lot of time through the years teaching many young men and women to play music. To read the notes, to produce the biggest, loveliest, fullest sound possible. To support the notes, to breathe correctly, to pay attention to phrasing, note values, tempos, rhythms, key changes. To adhere to the heart of the music even while improvising over the melody.
Which is why something like this makes me want to rip every hair out of my head, glue it back in, and rip it out again:
That was Christina Aguilera, “performing” at the Superbowl this year. What a pathetic, ghastly performance.
Let us ignore the appalling technique for just a minute, shall we (even though I was waiting for her to hyperventilate), and concentrate on the fact that… SHE SANG THE WORDS WRONG!!!
That’s right, y’all. She got up in front of a sold-out Superbowl crowd of what, 100K? Plus how many millions of viewers at home, and belted out the following:
“What so proudly we watched, at the twilight’s last gleaming.”
Excuse me??? It’s either, “what so proudly we hailed, at the twilight’s last gleaming?” or “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?”
I give the audience a lot of credit for either being too drunk or too classy to boo her out of the stadium.
Why do we put up with this crap? Do they not audition people before they have them sing at major events like this? It would be one thing if Aguilera got up at halftime and pathetically huffed and contorted through her own songs… she wants them performed like that, more power to her. But this is the National Anthem. Why must people butcher it?
Roseanne Barr, I’m looking at you.
And can I just say this? The word is “perilous”. PEAR-ih-lus. Not PEAR-ow-lis. Why is that so hard? Nearly every celebrity I hear singing this song pronounces it the second way. Do people not care?
Yeah, they do, because I’ve seen some fabulous performances.
But back to Christina.
Let’s put aside the words for a minute. Her technique stunk. She huffed and puffed, took breaths in all the wrong places. Messed up rhythms and tempo. This woman is supposed to be a professional!! I won’t even get into all of those glissandos – all the oowoohoo’ing that she did.
As far as I’m concerned, the organizers of the SuperBowl should have been on the phone to the bank, stopping the check before the last broken note fell from her over-painted lips. She does not deserve one red cent for that deplorable and embarrassing performance.
My apologies, as a musician, to Americans everywhere. My kind can, and should, do better.