National Anthem

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Well, the biggest stage for the National Anthem was tonight which ended in total failure.  It’s a shame the whole world looks in on us and we butcher our Anthem like that.  It’s not emotional when performed like that, especially when you butcher the words.  Granted, the National Anthem is a difficult song to sing, but there literally are hundreds of pre-teens that can sing it.  The video above, is Jim Cornelison singing at the Chicago Bears game a few weeks ago.

You can not underestimate the power of this song. The emotion and the meaning behind it is what makes it a meaningful and wonderful song. It does not NEED any sprucing up, or embellishments. As you can see from the Bears game, a straightforward rendition sung well does the trick. The crowd can’t shut up about it. You want to be respected for singing this song, dont do your own version of it, do it the right way, and people will love it (assuming you use the correct words, in the correct order, with the correct pitches, mostly in tune). Even local news is killing Aguilera for screwing it up.


Jim Cornelison is in his fourth season as the Blackhawks’ full-time National Anthem singer, having made regular appearances singing the anthem at the United Center since 1996.

Cornelison, a native of Vienna, Virginia, sang with numerous opera companies before coming to Chicago in 1995 to take part in the Lyric Opera’s Apprenticeship Program where he one of six accepted apprentices among more than 800 applicants. He has performed nationally and internationally with some of the biggest names in opera, such as Plácido Domingo and Zubin Mehta. Known as a heroic tenor for the dark color of his voice but ability to sing in a tenor range, he has sung with opera companies in Bordeaux, London, Brussels and San Francisco, among many others.

A 1992 graduate of Indiana University’s Master’s of Music Program, Cornelison has received numerous accolades for his singing, including the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation Award and the George London Foundation Encouragement Grant, as well as first place in the American Opera Society of Chicago’s 1997 Vocal Competition.

Here are a few other versions that are OK. The first is from the early 90’s right after the Iraq war, and the other is a little girls group. Both done pretty well (the hockey one might very well be Cornelison as well…sounds like it)

Here is a story by Robert Goulet when he made a mistake singing it.

And for your enjoyment, and check out the Time Magazine worst National Anthems ever. Number 10 is excruciating.