The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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September 28, 2001 Issue

Bring back sing-along

National anthem should not be a solo act

By Tony Staley
Compass Editor

This month's terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., have spawned an awakening of patriotism in the United States. Flag sales are soaring. Patriotic songs are again ringing out loud and strong.

Even the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" has shifted from a pre-game routine to a matter of national importance.

It's time to take the next step: Stop having some pop star or other soloist sing "The Star Spangled Banner" and put the singing back where it belongs -- to all of us. Yes, at most games the public address announcer invites spectators to join in the singing of our national anthem. But the hiring of a pop star to lead the singing makes that impossible because this singer usually interprets it in such a way that makes singing along impossible.

Get rid of the pop stars. Use the money to hire a brass band or if that's not possible, use a recording of a band. Then, invite everyone to sing along with all their heart.

Is there any place for a celebrity in the singing of "The Star Spangled Banner"? Maybe. But only if it's Mitch Miller.

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