Lamar! Saves Western Civilization

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While all the cool kids were hoisting Mexican flags (or trying and failing to catch protestors embarrassing themselves), Lamar Alexander was defending the Star-Spangled Banner. Lamar's apparently a senator now. I know—I'm as surprised as you.

"According to an article in the Washington Post last Friday, at least 389 different versions of our anthem have been produced over the years, in many musical styles, including rock and roll and country. But, the Post also noted, never before has it been rendered in another language.

"It may be a first, but it is a big first step in the wrong direction. And it's a mistake precisely because our nation is a nation of immigrants.

This is underwhelming coming from Alexander, whose role in the Senate has been to play Laverne to fellow Tennessean Bill Frist's Shirley. Who knows, though. Ten years ago, a little more populism like this might have propelled Lamar! to the White House.

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  1. You know, I’ve always known that Lamar was kind of eccentric, but I still sort of liked him. I didn’t see him as having all the worst features of a politician.

    This actually surprised me. But then I’ve been wrong before.

  2. I haven’t found anything by Googling, but I find it impossible to believe that this is the first time “To Anacreon In Heaven” has been recorded (I presume that’s what Lamar! means by “produced”) in a language other than English. In fact, if some Free To Be You And Me type in the early 70s did not produce a whole album of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung in Japanese, Swahili, Spanish, French, and so on, then I’ve been overestimating this country’s entrepreneurial spirit.

    Some musicologist out there want to prove me right?

  3. Everybody hated the Hendrix version, including yours truly (although I have played it at several of our 4th of July shindigs). It received far and away more ongoing criticism than this Spanish language version of the anthem.

  4. But, the Post also noted, never before has it been rendered in another language.

    This strikes me as almost certainly wrong. In particular, around the turn of the last century the US was filled with bands that played mostly German music to German and Eastern European immigrants. I can’t believe that a lot of them weren’t playing a German version of the American national anthem. (There were probably Czech and Polish and Yiddish versions too.)

  5. “Some musicologist out there want to prove me right?”

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

    The Star-Spangled Banner was translated into Spanish in 1919 by the US Bureau of Education. It has also been translated into a number of other languages. In 1861, it was translated into German (and is also on that page in Latin). It has been translated into Yiddish by Jewish immigrants and into French by Acadians of Louisiana.

    It has also been translated into Samoan:

    O Roketi mumu fa’aafi, o pomu ma fana ma aloi afi
    E fa’amaonia i le po atoa, le fu’a o lo’o tu maninoa
    Aue! ia tumau le fe’ilafi mai, ma agiagia pea
    I eleele o Sa’olotoga, ma Nofoaga o le au totoa

  6. By the way, the 1919 Spanish version is available on the Library of Congress’ website:

    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cocoon/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.100000007/default.html

  7. Personally, I couldn’t give two hoots about the star spangled banner but I am very proud to own a rastafarian take on the hits of everyone’s favourite Dungeons and Dragons balladeers ‘Dread Zeppellin’.

    It makes me want to rock and chill at the same time. Confusing.

  8. Everybody hated the Hendrix version,

    What now?

  9. Is it any more singable in spanish?

    I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states. California is now Freedomfornia. Arizona is now Freedomzona. Nevada is now Freedomada, usw.

  10. Everybody hated the Hendrix version

    And the NASCAR-lovin’ rednecks had no problem with Joe Satriani’s Hendrix-based version before the Sonoma race a couple years back. But maybe that was more of a wine-and-cheese crowd.

  11. “I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states.”

    And don’t forget us in Denver, Freedomrado.

  12. Everybody hated the Hendrix version

    I agree. Too widdly. It’s the guitar version of when Celine Dion inhales a vat of helium and starts hyper ventilating over a bunch of screeching violins.

    The best anthem is the Russian. When you hear that badboy start you can’t help but dig communism. Dar dar DARRRRR darr darr darrrr!!

  13. Everybody hated the Hendrix version
    Speak for yerself!

    ?Hola Jos?, d?nde usted que va con ese arma en su mano?
    ?Hola Jos?, dije d?nde usted que iba con ese arma en su mano? Bien.
    Voy abajo a tirar a mi vieja se?ora, usted s? que la cog? que ensuciaba alrededor con otro hombre.
    S?,! voy abajo a tirar a mi vieja se?ora, usted s? que la cog? que ensuciaba alrededor con otro hombre.
    ?Que! Y eso no est? demasiado fresco.

  14. My post above shows one of the great “advantages” of Spanish, among many languages – the special characters are a pain in the ass, and they showed up fine in ‘preview.’
    Perhaps Reason should fix its server(s) before advocating the use of a lingo they can’t handle properly.

  15. I think that Sen. Alexander is just pandering to all of the Lou Dobbs type voters in Ten.

  16. Perhaps Reason should fix its server(s) before advocating the use of a lingo they can’t handle properly.

    Perhaps you should take it on the arches if you don’t like it.

  17. Nah, Tim, waaayyyy too hostile. You missed a golden opportunity for Fund Raising.

    Le Mur shouldn’t take it on the arches, he ought to cough up a big frikkin’ donation to Reason Foundation.

    In the memo section of the check please write:

    FOR THE NEW SERVER FUND

  18. Re: Everbody hated the Hendrix version….

    I actually meant everyone over the age of 23 and quite a few of us who were younger.

  19. Le Mur:

    It’s not a “server” problem. It’s an artifact of the way different systems display characters outside of the standard ASCII character set. So, bone up on your HTML entities, then come back and wow us with your language skills.

  20. It’s not a “server” problem.

    Oh, maybe. OTOH, WFT is the point of offering a preview if it doesn’t represent what’s going to post?

  21. Oh, maybe. OTOH, WFT is the point of offering a preview if it doesn’t represent what’s going to post?

    Previewing may not work as you expect it to with an extended character set because different platforms (and possibly different browsers, but don’t hold me to that) may display those characters differently. So, while the preview looks fine to you, another user’s system may interpret the extended character set differently.

    So what is the point of a preview? Probably to give you one last chance to review what you’ve written and check it for errors.

    The lesson? Ensuring bullet-proof cross-platform consistency can be a bit of a pain.

  22. It has also been translated into Samoan

    Too bad it was never recorded by the Angry Samoans.

    I knew the music basically came from an old British drinking song, and always thought that was funny. I guess people don’t care about that because the music was written in English.

  23. I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states.

    Lets not forget the great state of Freexas.

  24. “I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states.”

    And of course, New America. As in Albuquerque, New America

  25. “I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states.

    Lets not forget the great state of Freexas.”

    -and, nat?rlich, my personal favorite: “Mountainous.”

  26. I’m tired of these mexicans naming our american states.

    We should also modernize the names of states that are derived from the language of Siberian-American immigrants — who mostly don’t even live there anymore! Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, etc. …

    While we’re at it, let’s change the name of Indiana to “Americana.”

  27. My dad and I both enjoyed Hendrix’s rendition of our Stars and Stripes. So you’re wrong, wrong as can be TWC, and not even God can save you now!

  28. TheState Department website has four versions in Spanish.

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