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


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."