Using the national anthem in protest isn’t a new idea

The words and melody for the “Star-Spangled Banner” have long been subject to poets and protesters in this country, good, patriotic Americans exercising their right of free speech and, more broadly, freedom of expression.

In the above performance, posted on YouTube about three and a half years ago, bass Jean Bernard Cerin sings the powerful lyric written by EA Atlee in 1844, entitled “Oh, Say Do You Hear.” Mr Cerin is accompanied by Michael Carpenter.

So don’t think the current round of sports-related protests that use the backdrop of the national anthem is a new idea in any way. These kinds of activities have been going on in America, in one form or another, since way before the Civil War.

The performance shown above is part of the Star Spangled Music project, which produced a double-CD with 37 tracks of artistic performances of the national anthem—maybe not the actual anthem, but versions that have applied some poetic license.

Lyrics for 4 verses of 'Oh, Say, Do You Hear?'

About the Author

Paul Katula

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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