Our New Version of the National Anthem

Jazz singer Rene Marie's decision to sing different words to the National Anthem in advance of Denver mayor John Hickenlooper's July 1 state of the city speech got us thinking: If she can do it, why shouldn't we? The answer will be obvious when you see what we came up with -- a rewrite of Francis Scott Key's original words that focus on the subsequent controversy, just in time for belting out at Fourth of July picnics, weekend ballgames or those moments when you'd like to aggravate everyone around you...

Oh, say can you see

By the cameramen’s light

What so proudly Hick hailed

His pearly whites gleaming

The state of the city

And fighting the good fight

So why is everyone

In the city council steaming?

‘Cause there was no rocket’s red glare

No bombs bursting in air

Just Rene Marie

Getting the thousand-yard stare

Oh, say, should that happen

In the home of the brave

When this song is so damned hard

To sing anyway?

Hate it? Feel free to protest. That's the American way. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts