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You Like Olympics American Anthem style?

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Blackcatter 27 Aug 04 - 01:13 AM
GUEST,blackcatter 27 Aug 04 - 02:52 PM
katlaughing 27 Aug 04 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,MMario 27 Aug 04 - 03:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 04 - 01:05 PM
freightdawg 28 Aug 04 - 02:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 04 - 03:31 PM
Blackcatter 28 Aug 04 - 05:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 04 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Rev 28 Aug 04 - 11:51 PM
GUEST,Boab 29 Aug 04 - 02:25 AM
jimmyt 29 Aug 04 - 06:54 PM
Blackcatter 29 Aug 04 - 07:22 PM
kendall 30 Aug 04 - 07:01 AM
Blackcatter 30 Aug 04 - 10:56 AM
Bill D 30 Aug 04 - 11:04 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 30 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 04 - 12:07 PM
Bill D 30 Aug 04 - 12:10 PM
Blackcatter 30 Aug 04 - 12:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM
PoppaGator 30 Aug 04 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,blackcatter at work 30 Aug 04 - 02:35 PM
PoppaGator 30 Aug 04 - 03:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 04 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,DeetroitDave 30 Aug 04 - 04:14 PM
PoppaGator 30 Aug 04 - 04:26 PM
jimmyt 30 Aug 04 - 04:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 04 - 05:23 PM
Cool Beans 30 Aug 04 - 05:30 PM
katlaughing 30 Aug 04 - 08:08 PM
GUEST 30 Aug 04 - 08:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 30 Aug 04 - 08:16 PM
GUEST,milk monitor 30 Aug 04 - 08:20 PM
katlaughing 30 Aug 04 - 08:21 PM
Teresa 30 Aug 04 - 09:16 PM
Blackcatter 30 Aug 04 - 09:54 PM
katlaughing 30 Aug 04 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Blackcatter 30 Aug 04 - 11:59 PM
Mary in Kentucky 31 Aug 04 - 12:10 AM
GUEST,Boab 31 Aug 04 - 03:05 AM
PoppaGator 31 Aug 04 - 04:25 PM
Ferrara 31 Aug 04 - 08:15 PM
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Subject: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 01:13 AM

Hello all,

Just curious - have others noticed the different style of the American National Anthem that's being played in Athens? There's a nice bit near the end that's pretty refreshing for me.

Has anyone noticed if there are similar differences in other anthems?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,blackcatter
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 02:52 PM

refresh


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 03:09 PM

I noticed and thought they'd done a "kinder, gentler" version on purpose to not sound so bombastic and *mighty.* Yes, I find it refreshing, too.:-)


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 03:09 PM

say what?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 01:05 PM

Somehow I haven't heard the US Anthem played at all this time round. I've always liked the tune, and felt it deserved a less bonbastyic arrangement than it always seems to get. It's a pretty and rather delicate tune really.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: freightdawg
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 02:12 PM

While I would agree that the tune is nice, and the "softness" of the rendition is quite a change from the usual performance, I would have to say that I do not like the "improvement" one bit.

I think, because this is an athletic competition where the playing of the national anthem is to reward the winner, that all anthems should be a little brassy and bombastic. The Olympic ideal is "faster, higher, stronger" not "softer, more gentle, nicer".

It just seems to me that the violins and the "softening" of all the anthems is out of place here.

This is not to say that the rendition of The Star Spangled Banner is bad. It is quite nice actually. But I've noticed from the other anthems as well that they are just way too watered down for the nature of the events that are being contested.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 03:31 PM

I always think the playing of national anthems in such situations is a very sentimental moment. "Not a dry eye in the house" stuff. More about fragility than toughness, really. Playing them a bit sentimentally, if that's what they are doing, makes sense.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 05:48 PM

Well at least we have to give the IOC kudos for trying something different, whether it's considered a success, or not.

And I'm quite proud that I was able to start a legitimate music thread about the Olympics!

Go team Blackcat!

cue The Cat Came Back, the (un)official song of cats.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 06:00 PM

I swit hed on the telly and thought I'd caught the US anthem this evening, but it turned out they were second, and there was God Save the Queen instead...


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,Rev
Date: 28 Aug 04 - 11:51 PM

I just read a story about this today, I think it was in the New York Times. Apparently a lot of Republicans have been complaining about the arrangement of the U.S. anthem. The story also said that many Canadians have been scandalized by the "jazzed up" version of "O Canada" that they've been playing, but I haven't heard that for myself.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 02:25 AM

Being resident in Canada, I haven't happened to hear ---perhaps coincidentally---the anthem of ANY country!


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: jimmyt
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 06:54 PM

I heard the Japan, China. Australia, Italy, Greece, Great Britain, and Russian anthems played on NBC broadcasts. I thought the USA anthem was interesting and some alternative chord progressions were partly responsible for the softening sound along with the predominately string arrangement.

Yes, Mc Grathm Congrats on the UK sprinters in the 4X 100. a great exciting event, and very well run by your sprinters. They seem to actually concentrate on both the speed as well as the baton pass, in contrast to the American team who thought they were just going to be able to make it on shear speed.

Thread creep, but what about that guy who attacked the Brazilian marathon runner at about mile 24? WHen he charged out, I thought oh I hope it isn't jo9hn!


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 07:22 PM

nope, a mad Irish man, not a mad Hullite.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: kendall
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 07:01 AM

The melody for our anthem was taken from an old English drinking song. It is very hard to sing and should be replaced anyway.They may soften it, but it is still an old drinking melody.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 10:56 AM

An I've always thought it ironic that we chose a tune that was very similar to God Save the King/Queen, yet the words we chose describe a battle against Britain.

Does that show the love/hate relationship with the British and possibly all of Europe?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 11:04 AM

it seems that all the anthem arrangements were by one guy...I read an interview with him. He got 'mostly' favorable responses to his arrangements, but you can't please everyone. A few had to be shortened to fit into the 60sec. limit, which upset a few..(Thailand's is almost 5 minutes long)

I thought the USAs was not too bad, but the violins on "rockets red glare" section was almost inaudible.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 11:57 AM

At least the US anthem was played often enough for people to form a judgement on whether they liked it or not. For which, congratulations are due to the US.

Ireland's only significant achievements in this year's olympics, on the other hand, were attributable to a horse and a demented ex-clergyman, respectively.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 12:07 PM

"...a tune that was very similar to God Save the King/Queen, yet the words we chose describe a battle against Britain.

I think you're getting your anthems mixed up there. "My Country to of thee" doesn't describe any battle, and the "Star Spangled Banner" bears remarkably little resemblance to "Go Save the Queen".

What's wrong with it being a drinking song, kendall? Maybe if Americans had a few jars before singing it, they'd find it a bit easier. The trick with drinking songs is, if you can't reach a note, going up or down, find a harmony instead. There's always going to be one or two within your vocal range. That's how harmony singing was invented.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Bill D
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 12:10 PM

even *I* can sing "The Star Spangled Banner" if it is played in a reasonable key. There has been recent debate that the 'traditional' key was designed for trained sopranos.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 12:55 PM

You're right McGrath - my mistake. Part of it is that I wish that My Country Tis of The was the anthem.


Bill, most people can probably sing the song if it's in "there" key. Problem is that people have slightly different ranges - I sing baritone and bass, but the high range of the baritone is nearly out of reach for me, butthe man singing next to me, may beable to hit them fine and not have my bottom range.

Songs that are "singable" have a fairly small range of an octave or so.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 01:18 PM

I wish that My Country Tis of Thee was the anthem.

That would get confusing at the Olympics. It's bad enough when England plays Liechtenstein, and the same tune has to be played twice over, and nobody knows which time it's being played for which country.

At least the Star Spangled Banner doesn't sound anything like anyone else's. And given the significance that Americans place on these kind of symbols, it ought to be a guarantee that your childtren would grow up knowing how to pick out harmony notes for the notes they couldn't reach, and you'd have a singing nation.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 01:24 PM

I had assumed that the US Olympic committee chose the new more "sensitive" arrangement for PR purposes, to lessen the USA's image as an international bully. However, I just learned (above) that an overall international authority (IOC? Athens organizers?) had someone write arrangements for *all* the anthems. Interesting...

NBC's prime-time coverage in the US (of which I missed very little) included too many medal ceremonies and not enough sports competition for my taste. So, I got to hear the new and improved Star Spangled Banner plenty of times, plus a fair sample of other nations' anthems during ceremonies for events in which Americans placed 2d or 3d. Unfortunately, I don't recall hearing (or, at least, noticing) the rearrangement of "O Canada" mentioned above. Now I'm curious!

I had also been curious about Ireland's single medal; all I know from our local newspaper is that it was a gold. Some equestrian event, apparently-- can anyone fill me in?

Speaking of the equestrian competition: NBC gave us NO coverage of this sport at all (unless they aired some during working hours or after 1m at night). It's not a sport in which I'm ordinarily interested, but it has always been part of Olympic TV coverage here because there always seem to be one or two Americans (from the Virginia "horse country," usually) competing for medals with the European aristocrary.

Also, the final fancy show-jumping extravaganza has always been part of the final Sunday's program at the main stadium, after the marathoners finish up and before the Closing Ceremony. This time around, the marathon finish line was not located in the new Olympic Stadium, but in the antique stadium built for the 1896 Games, and the new stadium was shut down for 12-16 hours Saturday night and Sunday to set up for the Closing Ceremony. This year, apparently, the horsey set had to conduct their showplace event elsewhere, earlier in the schedule -- in greater obscurity than usual.

Sorry about the thread creep -- back to the musical subject at hand:

I have no great objection to "The Star Spangled Banner," and can usually sing it passably enough, BUT: if another tune were to be adopted as the National Anthem, I would MUCH prefer "America the Beautiful" to the recycled British anthem "My Country Tis of Thee."


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,blackcatter at work
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 02:35 PM

I saw some of the equestrian - Friday or Saturday evening, I believe. I think I saw the Irish man win (why don't they give the medals to the horses as well?).

America the Beautiful would be fine with me - I just don't really like the imagry of the lyrics in the Star Spangled Banner. The tune is fine and it is certainly different from other nations (not withstanding my earlier screw-up).

During the closing ceremonies, they awarded the medals for the marathoners (did they have to run over to the new stadium?) but I though that the bronze medal guy was supposed to be awarded the good-sportspersonship medal as well. Did I miss that?

Here's a question - are there nations that don't have words to their national song? And is it just me, or does the word "anthem" mean a song with lyrics?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 03:26 PM

Blackcatter: I'm at work, too.

You're right about the marathon medal ceremony -- there was no mention of the Baron de Coubertin sportsmanship mendal, which we had been told would be given to the Brazilian *at the medal ceremony.*

I trust they didn't make the medal winners run from one stadium to the other ;^)

I've also wondered about the precise meaning of the word "anthem" -- especially since people began writing/speaking about "rock anthems." Anybody have a theory about where that usage come from? As to your other question, I would be very surprised if there were a national anthem without lyrics, but I suppose anything's possible.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 04:14 PM

"I just don't really like the imagry of the lyrics in the Star Spangled Banner."

I suppose the problem might be, if people get the idea that the rockets and the bombs are American rockets and bombs, it could sound a bit triumphalist. But don't they teach young American the actual story?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,DeetroitDave
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 04:14 PM

LOVE the beginning, especially when the strings & woodwinds give way to the brass on "whose broad stripes..." HATE the "B" section ("& the rockets' red glare...") with the strings alone; just TOO sappy!

By the way, Freightdawg has a point, that an Olympic victory SHOULD BE an occasion for fanfare... however, for many nations the anthem is more of an "alma Mater" hymn, rather than a military band piece. It's rather cool that the SSB can be done either way.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 04:26 PM

McG of H:

"They" do teach the story of how Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics while watching the British bombard Baltimore, but that doesn't mean that all the kids actually *learn* anything!

Actually, with or without a history lesson about the War of 1812, anyone who gives a careful listen to the lyrics ("...that our flag was still there") should understand that the bombs and rockets are an enemy's, not the USA's. But, you know, lots of people are often pretty stupid. Or is it really all that different over on your side of the pond? :^)


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: jimmyt
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 04:44 PM

I agree, Poppa Gator Stupidity is frequently laughed at, but the recent multiple choice quiz that Jay Leno gave to his "person on the street" interviews where they make a joke out of how dumb Americans are beat anything I can remember. The majority of folks interviewed answered that the shape of Mount Rushmore was created by erosion. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 05:23 PM

I never trust that kind of thing.If you are mad keen to get on TV, and you know they'll only feature the stupod answers, you'd have to be pretty slow on the uptake not to give them what they want. (Of course it's stupid wanting to be on that kind of TV in the first place, but that's another matter.)


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 05:30 PM

I found the American anthem arrangement wimpy, and I'm a peace-loving left winger (no, I don't mean a hockey player).
Speaking of "O Canada," doesn't NBC's oft-repeated Olympic theme music begin with the same four notes as "O Canada" or am I imagining things?
And Horses Walking Sideways? That's a sport?


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 08:08 PM

The equestrian events were aired mostly on Bravo and USA, if I rmemeber the schedule correctly...not for the *unwashed masses* who don't have premium cable tv! we were lucky enough to catch just one event which was actually on the regular NBC channel and it was the one in which the Irishman won. He and the horse did a beautiful job; I was surprised when they said he was the first from Ireland in however long...I figured there'd be some real and consisten horse talent from there.

I'd prefer the national anthem be "this land is your land."


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 08:14 PM

There is lots of real and consistent talent from there, but breeders and trainers don't win gold medals.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 08:16 PM

Plenty of great horse talent from Ireland, even when the people who are riding the horses aren't Irish.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,milk monitor
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 08:20 PM

sorry.......guest 8.14 was me.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 08:21 PM

Well, I didn't meant it to sound as though I thought there wasn't real and consistent talent there...just surprised it didn't show up more in the Olympics; of course, as you say, trainers and breeders are more behind the scenes, so to speak.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Teresa
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 09:16 PM

I liked that version of the anthem although the signal compression or whatever made the strings almost inaudible at times.

However, for lyrics, I especially like these: To Anacreon In Heaven, especially for these Olympics. ;) Tongue slightly in cheek, though I do like that song, really.

As for the anthem I'd prefer, I also would like "This Land Is Your Land".
T


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Blackcatter
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 09:54 PM

McGrath - it's not that people might assume their American bombs that bothers me. That it's tied drirectly to war is what bothers me. I'm no expert on the lyrics of other national anthems, but i'd really like one that describes what makes America great - in mostly a non-violent way. That's why America the Beatiful is pretty nice. This Land would be great too, but would we ever decide if there are "official" lyrics?

I'll look to see about the word "anthem," also I'm now curious to what the lyrics to other anthems are. I know Canada pretty well and God Save the Queen.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: katlaughing
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 11:36 PM

Looks as though anthem is supposed to have lyrics:

   1. A hymn of praise or loyalty.
   2. A choral composition having a sacred or moralizing text in English.
   3. A modern ballad accompanied by rock music instrumentation.


[Middle English anteme, from Old English antefn, from Late Latin antiphna, from Late Greek, from neuter pl. of antiphnos, sounding in answer : anti-, in return; see anti- + phn, voice; see bh-2 in Indo-European Roots.]


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,Blackcatter
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 11:59 PM

Thanks Kat.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 12:10 AM

I try to listen to Karl Haas (Adventures in Good Music) on the radio every chance I get. I remember one episode where he discussed the history of La Marseillaise (the French National Anthem) and played many different arrangements. He noted that the words were particularly bloody and sounded strange being sung by children.

La Marseillaise
(first verse, there are seven)

Let us go, children of the fatherland
Our day of Glory has arrived.
Against us stands tyranny,
The bloody flag is raised,
The bloody flag is raised.
Do you hear in the countryside
The roar of these savage soldiers
They come right into our arms
To cut the throats of your sons,
your country.

To arms, citizens!
Form up your battalions
Let us march, Let us march!
That their impure blood
Should water our fields

***************************

I don't read, write or speak French, but I love the music at the end...marchons, marchons!

Aux armes citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons,
Marchons, marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons.

********************************

And speaking of arrangements of the various anthems...The Star Spangled Banner was IMO nice. Reminded me of "My Old Kentucky Home" where the band plays softly and the audience sings very loudly..."Weep no more my lady..."

I thought the Italian anthem sounded a bit trite and silly...almost like a bad opera aria that ended unexpectedly.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 03:05 AM

Ireland isn't alone---the UK distinguished itself a few games back in exactly the same way; one gold medal---a horse won it.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 04:25 PM

One more thing about that new Star-Spangled Banner arrangement:

Those couple of measures with strings-only intrumentation, about 3/4 of the way though the tune, were so quiet (and so *suddenly* quieter than the preceding lines) that at least one American medal winner thought the anthem was over at that point and moved (i.e., relaxed, replaced wreath on head, etc.), only to awkwardly resume the position of "attention" for a few more bars.


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Subject: RE: You Like Olympics American Anthem style?
From: Ferrara
Date: 31 Aug 04 - 08:15 PM

The Washington Post also had an article about the "softness" and non-martial arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner. It was not meant as a political statement or anything else, the guy wrote the arrangement in 1991, along with a number of others. As I understand it, he just wrote them because he enjoyed doing so, and I think put out a CD of his arrangements. This year's Olympic committee liked his work and asked him to arrange the national anthems of all the participating nations.

I liked it, myself. More musical, less like a marching band arrangement, whatever.


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