Monday, February 20, 2006

Rant alert

Well, I didn't get my fire, and I didn't drink a glass of wine, but I did go to a Daytona 500 party at the VF*nW yesterday. And it isn't even that totally bogus black flag against Kyle Busch in the last few laps, which, had he won the race would have put many dinars into my pocket, which has me pissed off. Nope, it is the National anthem.

I could have a seriously righteous rant here on the singing of it; it's a challenging song, not many people can do it well, and the ones who could or should seem to want to make it a showcase for themselves, not the anthem of our nation. I personally can't stand the Whitney Houston version of it, which seems to be the benchmark performance lately. Just sing the damn song the way it is meant to be!! Better yet, have a band play it and give me lots of harmony! Don't fuck with my national anthem!!

I just said this wasn't going to be rant on how it's sung, didn't I? Okay, back on track, I'm not sure who sung it yesterday for the race. I'm sure I should know, but I don't. She did a passable job, not too terribly many warbles and screeches added in. What really got Old Sarge and me steamed up was- no one stopped talking and paid attention while it was being sung. And we're IN THE VF*nW!! People who should know better!

A few years ago, Old Sarge was at the Carroll County Fair, where one of the area VFW's had a food pavillion set up. Good spot to recruit for membership. That night was the demolition derby, I believe, and Old Sarge and another member of the VFW were standing outside the grandstands when the National Anthem started, talking. My dear friend Pat, who I love very much and am scared to death of, came rushing out of the kitchen and smacked my husband and the other man with him right in the back of the head. Pa turned around and asked her what that was for, and she tore him a new asshole:
Pat: "They're playing the National Anthem! Stand at attention and salute!"
OS: "But I can't even see the flag! I'm not in the grandstands!"
Pat: "Who gives a shit! You know it's there, and you KNOW what you're supposed to do when that song is played, regardless of where you are."
Whereas Old Sarge promptly removed his hat and held a salute.

So, when so many of my friends and acquaintances were being oblivious yesterday, Old Sarge and I got off our stools and stood up. I could hear the bar quieting down somewhat, and when that gal got done singing, there was applause. Now, that was more like it.

There IS one song I love very much, which I think was perfectly okay to take some liberties with. The arrangement was done by Carmen Dragon, yep, the Captain's dad, and is one of the loveliest things I've ever heard. Here it is, performed by the USAF Heritage of America Band:

America the Beautiful


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