Friday, April 28, 2006

It's Not the Star Spangled Banner

It's called "Nuestro Himno" (Our Anthem). The lyrics have not officially been released, but early reports indicate that the lyric have been changed for more the linguistic and stylistic reasons. That means it is to a different song, with different words, sung to approximately the same tune, just like "To Anacreon in Heaven" is a different song than the "Star Spangled Banner".

What makes a song? It is the lyrics. There are numerous examples of songs with the same name and lyrics but using different tunes. Conversely there are many different songs, with different lyrics, that share the same tune. Just look through any hymnal.

I've got no problem with someone singing the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish, or any other language, as long as the lyrics are translated faithfully. Similarly, anyone is welcome to write a new song with different lyrics using the same tune as the Star Spangled Banner. That is all First Amendment-protected speech.

But, to change the meaning of the lyrics and try to claim it is still the Star Spangled Banner is fraudulent deception. People want a boycott, how about we start a boycott of any store that sells this deceptive song, and any radio station that plays it other than in jest. Now that would be a protest with some meaning.

Update: Finally got around to finding the lyrics here, at least to the first two verses. I noted that NPR has a translation about which there is some controversy. The article also seems to indicate that there are additional verses which will vary even further from the original. I stand by my comments: It ain't the U.S. National Anthem.

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