Nightmare At the Fall Classic, or, Jose, Don't Be Discouraged (from the annals of Hit & Run)

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As the Volunteer State's philosopher king rends his flannel garments in agony over the Spanish version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," we take you back to the halcyon days of October 2003, before John Kerry ruined this country, to recall Jose Feliciano's return to World Series anthem-singing form. Unfortunately, the story I linked to back then has vanished into the ether of the interweb, but you can get a recap here, the bottom line of which is: When the blind trovador did a soulful version of the national anthem back in Old '68, accompanied by his accoustic guitar, Tigers and Cardinals fans alike wanted to have him deported (to Puerto Rico, go figure). Listen to the original, and marvel at how little it takes to get people passionate about a song they never really liked in the first place.

As we speak, foreign-language versions of "To Anacreon In Heaven" continue to pour in, though I'm still in search of a recorded version that predates the recording of "Nuestro Himno," Pitbull and Wyclef Jean's Spanish-language assault on America. (It's our generation's 9/11.) Thanks to reader SR for showing us the way to the Library of Congress' entry for the 1919 version of "La bandera de las estrellas," the lyrics of which you can find here. To sing along at the biergarten with "Das Banner Mit Sternen," lookie here. Or give 'em the oh la la with a rendition of "La Bannière Étoilée." And there are plenty more here.

Meanwhile, back in aught-six, Feliciano gives a thumbs-down to "Nuestro Himno."

NEXT: Lamar! Saves Western Civilization

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  1. As both an amateur linguist and as a music lover, have to agree with the critical assessment of “Nuestro Himno” — it really is a pretty awful mishmash of overwrought vocals and clap-rap.

    Politically – meh. Let ’em sing a version in Klingon for all of me.

  2. If only people would listen to Roseanne’s version of “Nuestro Himno,” the world would be in perfect harmony. (And you wouldn’t even have to buy anyone a damn Coke.)

  3. At the 2004 Democratic Convention, some Native American tribe was singing the national anthem in their language. I guess that’s fair considering the rape and the smallpox.

  4. I think there should be a version of the National Anthem sung by a REAL pitbull.

    Sorta like the barking dog “Jingle Bells”.

  5. You can love America, but not in your language!

    – Josh

  6. Every time I get to a Stars game on time, I wonder if they’re going to send in the jack-booted thugs for what Dallas fans do to TSSB. We don’t actually change the words, but each time they sing the lines “Whose brought stripes and bright stars” and “Oh say does that star-spangled banner yet wave” the word ‘stars’ is shouted by every yahoo in the joint, as if the entire thing were penned as an homage to Mike Modano.

  7. I’m proud to be an American.

  8. I hate to say it but when it comes to national anthems, Russia’s recycled Stalinist era tune beats them all hands down. Even the staunchest arch-capitalist would get shivers down his spine after hearing this.

    China’s isn’t too bad either. Why is it always the tyrannies that get the better tunes?

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