Even For Professionals, The National Anthem Is Too Hard To Sing

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 1 2013 6:26 PM

The National Anthem Is Too Hard To Sing

Pity the vocalist forced to sing the national anthem. Featuring a range of one and a half octaves, a plodding tempo, and a ruthlessly melodramatic tone, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is notoriously difficult to sing. With the outsized controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s did-she-or-didn’t-she inauguration performance of the old British drinking tune that became our national song, it’s time to recognize it actually is better to just lip-sync this clunker. With that in mind, we’ve put together this video demonstrating that even seasoned professionals are often at a loss when it comes to giving proof through the night that our flag is still there.

Just be thankful we no longer have to trudge through all four verses before we play ball.

Chris Wade is a video and podcast producer for Slate and occasional contributor to Brow Beat. Follow him on Twitter.