Firdaus Tarmizi

The Star Spangled Banner

In Confessions on August 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

1.  Now here’s the thing about writing confessions.  There are always possibilities that it will make you unpopular.  After all, that’s the meaning of confessing in reality: it means you are telling people something you’d rather keep to yourself.  In this particular entry, I could even be arrested and be put in jail, if I am not careful.  But then again, some things just need to be said.

So, here goes nothing.

2.  My confession: one of the things that easily affect me emotionally is a soulful performance of a song.  And there are few songs that can move me to tears than a powerful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner (SSB).  In my opinion, the US has, if not THE most, then one of the most beautiful national anthem in the world.  And trust me, I’ve done my homework by listening to nearly 20 national anthems.  Funnily enough, perhaps the only one that comes close, for me, to the awesomeness of Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the former Soviet Russia.  National anthem cold war, perhaps?

3.  The reason I appreciate SSB is not just the melody and the lyrics, but more due to the freedom in which you can express the song.  Of course, there’s always the possibility of total devastation of the song, but when done perfectly, nothing comes close to SSB in stirring one’s patriotism.  High risk, high return, I would say.

Case in point:  this one here is the best version of SSB I’ve heard so far.  The best thing, of course, is how it was sung,  in their own way, by little girls with big hearts.  These girls can make a grown man cry, seriously.


4.  Closer to home, we have the Negaraku.  A song said to be taken from Terang Bulan (wrong), which controversially was said to copy Mamula Moon (it is actually the other way round).  It was stated in Malaysian constitution (Akta Lagu Kebangsaan 1968) that you can’t mock, revise, or change the rhythm of the song.  In other words, you can only sing the official version of the song.

Oddly enough, I’ve never really felt any emotional upheaval when I sing Negaraku.

You make your own conclusion, OK?

  1. “easily affect me emotionally is a soulful performance of a song”
    that, and a great performance of a dance!
    have you watched got to dance UK?
    *watery eyes and short of breath*
    those little kids *geram* pinch pipi*
    tengok mari menari tak pula rasa apa2..
    same situation kut?
    it’s not about patriotism anymore..
    baru 54 tahun

    • dances are cool too. tiba2 teringat the dance performance from the King and I. sangat wow.

  2. =.=” this is strictly personal perception

  3. the act says you cant mock, revise, or change the rhythm of the song? wasnt the rhythm of the song changed a few years back? its on a faster beat now compared to before right..

    • the act says we can’t, by ourselves, change the OFFICIAL song when we sing it in an official event. If the official song was changed by the government, that’s a different matter, I guess. And by the way, the official song was already changed back to the slow version.

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