July 29, 2012

It's not easy to be this bad.

An 11-year-old girl sings what some consider the worst version of the National Anthem ever (to an audience of 22,000). Here's the Christina Aguilera Super Bowl performance that really should never be imitated.

35 comments:

Peter said...

I've come to the conclusion that China's "March of the Volunteers" is the best national anthem. Its lyrics are so few that the entire thing can be sung in about 45 seconds. As a result, it's hard for singers to screw it up.

ndspinelli said...

Roseanne Barr in San Diego was the worst.

Deb said...

Is that what the poor kid was trying to do? I made it through 5 seconds. I agree. Christina Aguilera should never be imitated.

john said...

Any national anthem who's final words are "play ball" doesn't need to be sung any better than this.

The Godfather said...

It really needs to be sung straight. If the singer doesn't want to do that, don't sing the National Anthem; sing Green Dolphin Street or something.

edutcher said...

The trick, if it can be called that, is just sing it.

Don't act, don't emote, don't stylize, do't interpret.

Just sing the damn thing.

That's all that's required.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Deb,

Is that what the poor kid was trying to do? I made it through 5 seconds.

Hey, in the interest of Truth and Art, I stuck it out the whole three-plus minutes. Holy High Mother of F___, whose asinine idea was it to make this kid sing this in front of 22 thousand people?

Lem said...

There is nothing wrong with singing elaborately flowery.. except its only beautiful if its effortlessly understated..

Like this.

"Stay within yourself" they used to say in baseball.

ndspinelli said...

Lem, They still do say it.

Saint Croix said...

You think Christina was bad? That gave me tingles.

This one has the record.

Levi Starks said...

I actually kind of liked it. yes it's different. Singing is an art. Lets say I go to the art museum.... I don't want to see 300 Vermeer portraits, even though I like his work.
I understand that there's an expectation that the National Anthem will be treated with a certain "respect" Still I think there was a freshness to her rendition. I find it much less objectionable and post modern than moving a 250ton rock into the center of LA and calling it art.

Lem said...

the Dressage horse.. for example.

The horse has magnificent body, the epitome of strength and vigor.. so much so its used as a unit of measurement.. horse power.

But something is revealed when the horse displays gracefully.

I don't know if this is true.. but in my opinion, the stronger the voice, the more understated and graceful the singer should strive to perform.

Again, I'm no expert, but I think a lot depends on the strength of the voice.

Lem said...

I agree Roseanne Barr took the cake.. she was intentionally bad... and yet in a way, an elegant anthem to free speech.

In many other countries they put her in jail.

Deb said...

Lem, wasn't Luther Van Dross was the best? So smooth. What a loss.

Unknown said...

Someone should have taken her aside long before she got far into practicing this style, and told the poor thing just how god-awful it sounds.

Isn't this like being afraid to tell students they're failing in school?

Saint Croix said...

she was intentionally bad... and yet in a way, an elegant anthem to free speech.

I like the booing part.

She sings like an Iranian student about to storm the embassy.

And the spit, classic.

At least she didn't burn a flag.

Lem said...

Lem, They still do say it.

I dont hear the announcers in the booth saying it.. ever since McCarver I believe it was.. started mocking the idea.

"Staying within yourself.. you mean as opposed to outside myself?"... he would say.... He knew exactly what it meant... but he struck me as one of those people that allways liked to show people how smart he was.

Joe Buck has reign him in a lot... for the better.

Astro said...

I partially blame the late Whitney Houston for the singing style with those long drawn-out notes that sound like an old air-raid siren (ironic term here: 'siren').

Yes, this young girl is awful.

I also blame whoever was in charge of selecting the anthem singer. If that person had done his job this girl would have been spared the ridicule.
And of course I have to wonder: where were her parents? Are they equally tone deaf?

rhhardin said...

Our National Anthem is a waltz.

It's supposed to be danced, not sung.

I could explain again what this wretched tradition is doing at ball games. It's to get the crowd to shut up and pay attention.

Self-appointed patriotic enforcers ensure it. That was the marketing genius.

The audience should strike back by booing every performance until they cut it out.

As a plus, none of the performers would take it personally.

cf said...

It is a peculiar 21st Century Hell that a spunky eleven-year-old would achieve fifteen minutes of fame by being guffawed at by Internet throngs of grown-ups that include Althouse readers. C'mon folks, she's a kid.

My heart goes out to her, and I pray she thrives despite the unkindness of so many strangers.

Pogo said...

There was a time when one's childhood failures and embarrassments were not broadcast worldwide, becoming fodder for vicious ridicule, smooshing you like a bug.

Poor kid. I couldn't watch after the very first note went awry. I hope she can shrug it off and keep on singing if she wants.

The socialist NHS musical number opening the Olympics was far worse, by any measure.

ndspinelli said...

Lem, McCarver is a, Grecian Formula, repeat everything 10 times, bombastic, blowhard, buffon!

ndspinelli said...

Lem, McCarver was the GREAT Steve Carlton's personal cather. The reason being, Carlton would NEVER allow McCarver to come out to the mound. McCarver knew he was a backup catcher w/ little talent and if he was a Hall of Famer's personal battery mate he could stay in the Majors. Carlton once said, "What the hell couyld he tell me about pitching?" ALL players know that and consider him a fucking know-it-all errand boy.

Indigo Red said...

Levi Starks said...
"... I don't want to see 300 Vermeer portraits, even though I like his work."

You're in luck then, Levi. There are only 37 Vermeer painting and three of those are of disputed provenance.

Crimso said...

Carl Lewis?

Lem said...

Lem, wasn't Luther Van Dross was the best? So smooth. What a loss.

Big time.

Lem said...

I think rh is onto something there.

Lem said...

...[McCarver] repeated everything 10 times, bombastic.

You are not kidding.

I remember one time he apparently had an epiphany... I say an epiphany because he would repeat it like ten times every time a runner would steal a base.

There is no substitute for speed... There is no substitute for speed... There is no substitute for speed...

Imagine how many times I heard that refrain if Ricky Henderson was scoring a run w/o the benifit of a base hit.. omg.

I mean.. it was a good insight into the game and all... but he would never shut up about it.

Levi Starks said...

Indigo,
Next time you're at Wikipedia researching painters, do a quick search for metaphor,and hyperbole.

Carnifex said...

To mock a child is sensless cruelty. I won't watch the link.

My granddaughter wants to be a singer. I had to tell her that while she could be a musician, and that after a lot of hard work, unless her voice changes, she's not a singer. Apparently she takes after me...I sing constantly, driving, working, fishing, whatever. But I can't sing.

(although this last trip to the hospital, I was screaming so long and hard I had a wonderful smokey rasp for about a week) :-)

Palladian said...

Also, Vermeer never actually painted a standard portrait of an identifiable subject, on commission. So, adhering to a standard, classical definition of portraiture, there are no Vermeer portraits.

Palladian said...

Here's the original tune our National Anthem is set to, written in 1780 by John Stafford Smith, with lyrics by Ralph Tomlinson, called "To Anacreon in Heaven". This song was the "constitutional" song of the Anacreontic Society, basically an 18th century English amateur musician's club.

I've long believed that "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be sung at the tempo, and with the phrasing, you hear in the linked recording of the song.

Deb said...

I don't mean to mock the child. That's why I had to turn off the video. I feel for her because this will haunt her. Really, some times honesty is best.

rastajenk said...

rhhardin said...
Our National Anthem is a waltz

I thought it was a bar song, sung heartily by men hoisting tankards of ale. Which could surely fit in with a stadium full of sports fans. But it has evolved into something else.

I used to work for the Cincinnati Reds. I came to hate national anthem time because they (the Reds) seemed to prefer these young diva wailers, and they were almost always bad. I witnessed some very good renditions, but never by young female aspiring pop stars.

Joe said...

This was worse than Roseanne Barr since the latter didn't even try. The problem is that this girl can't sing at all, so she slides past the notes. Unfortunately, adults have likely told her she can be anything she wants. The biggest lie adults tell children.