If Music's an Art, What Are National Anthems?
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This has nothing to do with saluting or kneeling.
It's simply a question that's answered in different ways by different belief systems.
And by different nations.
With the expulsion of the Russian delegation from the 2018 Olympics -- both Winter and Summer -- the International Olympic Committee said it would allow individual athletes to compete under the banner Olympic Athletes from Russia.
The IOC does have bigger issues on its hands, but what is it gonna do when an OAR athlete wins a gold medal?
What to do for an anthem?
In essence, Trevor Noah touched all the bases of what goes into an anthem. His could be the first ever that's been sung in the key or R.
We rarely hear of other countries adding a variation on their anthems' themes, but a few are out there.
Sweden's soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimović did a narration of its anthem for a Volvo commercial, changing the last line, Jag vill dö i Norden -- I want to die in the North -- to Jag vill dö i Sverige, which is I want to die in Sweden.
Because the national anthem is played so much more at sporting events, artistic license is much more common.
That's not the case when the choirs combine at the annual Army-Navy game, though:
Performers take more license when guitars are involved. For example:
- Former New York Yankee Bernie Williams kept to the script for the most part;
- Frankly, so did Slash of Guns 'n' Roses;
- Metallica's James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett went with a harmonic duet; and
- Rev Peyton added the tone that a slide guitar can offer.
Last week, a Fordham student went edgier with it:
That version got closer to Trevor Noah's point about national anthems.
But in a literal sense, there's only one instrumental masterpiece.
America's anthem, like many, is an account of a specific battle. It was the bombardment of Ft McHenry near Baltimore in the War of 1812. Like most major conflicts, it was deafening, chaotic, and destructive.
To this day, only one version of the American anthem stands out as truly representative of what its inspiration was all about.
Jimi Hendrix captured the battle's unsanitized action better than any musician ever has or probably ever will.
If ever an anthem demanded total attention with no sideshows Hendrix delivered it: