A National Anthem Melody, Radical Reinterpretation Challenge

I heard this beautiful, creative and inspirational recent rendition of the Star Spangled Banner just now.

 

And I thought to myself afterward, what if more songwriters and/or performers did more radical reinterpretations of their national anthems’ melodies? Many, if not most, who perform a national anthem put some “interpretation” into the often sung songs. However, most aren’t all that original.

So who out there might want to try? Being Canadian, I’d love to hear some more original interpretations of O Canada. I’d try myself, having been a songwriter, but I have too many things going on right now that can’t wait. I did stop songwriting for times when I’d be less active and mobile, after all, given my inefficiency at it. 🙂

Who’s up for the challenge?

Colbie Caillat Singing the Best US National Anthem I’ve Ever Heard

My annual list of Best New Songs I Heard is usually reserved for songs I had never heard before. Sometimes, I throw in songs I had heard before, but never nearly as good that a version I just heard for the first time. This song falls in that second category, though it doesn’t quite have the gap for me to put on my list this year because of how many great versions I have heard in the past. Still,  it was good enough that I know, for me, it was the best rendition of this song that I have ever heard among the many I have heard.

The Star Spangled Banner is played at so many events I watch, on television or in person, that I am sure I have heard over 1000 renditions of it over the years. Naturally, there have been some outstanding versions among them, as well as some pretty grotesque ones. To me, though, Colbie Caillat’s version at the opening game of the National Football League season between the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints was the best rendition of the song I have ever heard. Sorry, I don’t know the guitarist’s name.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

She sung it quietly and built it, without having to rely on volume power to peak. She didn’t need more drums or instruments to come in, or additional parts, either. She just rocked it gently a tad more each time and achieved the effect. That’s a hard thing to do!

The television footage of the players and crowd were also inspiring, and credits go to the NBC camera crew for capturing all that. Lots of players and coaches with hands over their heart, standing pretty still mostly, too. I also liked the shot of Jared Allen with the helmet held high. The New Orleans fans deserve credit for being in such solemn attention. A little cheer here or there in the right places can have just as good an impact as a roaring crowd all the way through like at some events. But you know, the right rendition will help you be like that to listen and be proud rather than not pay attention for any number of reasons.

All and all, I thought it was just superb. Too bad the online version I have above had the image and sound timing just a tad off to make it look like Colbie badly lip synced it.

I saw some online articles today on the rendition by Colbie Caillat. She’s got the Net talking about it, that’s for sure. There were likes and dislikes, and loves and hates, as to be expected. However, I’ve got to say the reasonings given for those who didn’t like it weren’t very sound. If the reasonings those people generally gave were valid, they should just go plunk it out on an out of tune synthesizer, or just get their computer to mechanically play it. They should appreciate how flexible their national anthem is that they could think so poorly of such a performance and yet, some people like myself think it’s the best rendition they’ve ever heard!

Leave me a comment with some other favourite renditions of the Star Spangled Banner if you care to share. Thanks!

Meanwhile, I’m going to look up some more of Colbie’s music. I had never heard of her till last night, but man, did she impress and got a new fan for that performance!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.5

Printable Where the Wild Things Are Placemats (12″ x 18″) and Photos (6″ x 4″)

I found some of these large graphics from the movie and children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. I enhanced them with more colour and resolution to make some wallpapers. However, some of the graphics were big enough I though I could enhance them to a size big enough to be a pretty good sized picture, but I just didn’t want to make some big pictures. That’s when I had the idea of placemats.

This was stuff for kids, as well as adults, but the original was a children’s book kids loved, so I thought, wouldn’t they love it if they had placemats of it?

Some pictures for stuff they had, whether to put on the size of their pencil cases or notebooks, or in their room, wouldn’t hurt either.

So here it all is below… with a banner 28″ long to boot!

These are not official merchandise so please do NOT sell them… just make them for your own family fun.

The photos you can just print at your typical photo machine.

There are 7 placemats so plenty for the kids. They are the typical 12″ x 18″ in size, but you can get that printed at a Wal-mart or some other place. Make sure you get them heavily laminated, though. If you’re going to use it as a place mat, it’s going to take a lot of beating, and the prints will cost you something like $11 in Canada, plus tax, so do laminate them well.

Otherwise, just print it as a big print for your kids’ room… or yours. 🙂

I also have Where the Wild Things Are wallpapers for monitors and backgrounds for iPhones, Palm Pre and Blackberry Bold 9000s.

Enjoy!

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