Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bilingual "Star Spangled Banner"

Update 3: MSNBC reports the story and offers a poll in which 82% of its readership find the Spanish anthem offensive. Interestingly, even Spanish media finds this as not such a good idea:

"Even our Spanish media are saying, 'Why are we doing this, what are you trying to do?' " said Pedro Biaggi, the morning host with El Zol (99.1 FM), the most popular Hispanic radio station in the Washington area. "It's not for us to be going around singing the national anthem in Spanish. . . . We don't want to impose, we don't own the place. . . . We want to be accepted."

Update 2: Malkin has a sample of one of the versions, and Uncommon Sense has more on the story

Update: Malkin picks up the story

This is the perfect case of perhaps a good idea - a recording with modern day renditions of the Star Spangled Banner by Hispanic artists - with a BAD execution - recording the anthem in either Spanish or English.

"We decided to re-record 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to show our solidarity with the undocumented migrants," said UBO President Adam Kidron. "Today we are Americans and 'The-Star Spangled Banner' represents everything to us." The recording, dubbed "Nuestro Himno" or "Our Anthem," is set to "urban Latino rhythms" but respects the song's traditional structure, UBO said in a news release. Each artist decided whether to sing in Spanish or English.
I don't know about this. For me a national anthem should never be "renditioned", but that is just my taste. However, I do believe it should always be sung in the language in which it was written since it, as a flag, represents that nation.

This has the potential to uproar Americans, as much as Roseanne Barr's infamous rendition of the anthem at a baseball game. In addition, singing the anthem in Spanish can be seen as further refusal to assimilate into mainstream from Hispanics, where now even the anthem gets translated into Spanish and as total disrespect for this nation's symbols. Additionally, this singles out even more the Hispanic group as the one with the "assimilation problem".

Some are hopeful and believe this can be seen as an effort to incorporate American patriotism among Hispanics. Since this Spanish-English version of the U.S. national anthem will be put on the market Monday to coincide with the U.S. Senate's restarting debate on immigration legislation, chances are it will rub people the wrong way.

My spouse would certainly not want to hear the Chilean anthem in English, and I'm sure Puerto Ricans would not like to hear La Borinqueña in English.

What do you think?

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