So that's that.
The National Anthem gets me pow right in the chest. It is an unusual anthem. It compares favorably with anthems of other nations, so many are just plain stupid and others are ridiculously arrogant.
I wonder if presidents get sick of hearing Hail to the Chief all the time as leitmotif, and all those John Philip Sousa songs all the time, as if the president is band master. Over and over and over, day in, day out. The National Anthem gets me. Every single time. I know the tune originated as a British pub song, but I don’t care. The lyrics are great. They’re humble because Britain was kicking our ass. They burned down our capitol! Bastards.
I will not forgive them for that. And I tell their descendants directly, shut up about America’s gun “fetish” as you put it, you must know, it’s because of you that amendment is written into our constitution, you effete little pricks who speak like retards.
Whenever the National Anthem is played I see it. My arms twerk in incipient signs. It's reflexive. Autonomic. I’ve seen it a million times. And it just now occurred to me to see how interpreters handle it. So I do. And they all disgust me. They are NOT doing what I’ve seen for fifty years.
How can they leave out so much? How can they be so grandiose and omit so many crucial elements?
“Hail” means greet. Salute will work. All translators say “honor.” That’s the two “H” signs parallel and pushed upward together in an arc toward an object or toward a person. It’s similar to respect done with two “R” signs that originate from the forehead. That's not my interpretation.
And it’s pissing me off
They’re all grandiose, and overly poetic. As if showing the song poorly to people with bad eyesight and without need for real comprehension. I hate them. All of them. They’re not doing what I see in my mind. Their stripes are regular strips not particularly broad stripes. Their stars are not spangled just plain dots and regular stars of the night, but the they’re arranged as a modern flag, not as a 15-star flag of 1812. Their bombs bursting in air are misunderstood as mere July 4th fireworks, not actual bombs launched from British ships. There is no recognition of the joy of them missing their targets and exploding randomly thus saving the fort.
None of them say “gleaming” where I always see shining. Their dawn is regular morning sun coming up, not an early light, and their twilights are standard afternoons, not specifically awesome last gleaming of twilight and it doesn’t give proof, it’s simply evident. Eh, still there. Their’s are red rockets shooting up, not red glares from whistling bombs, there is no heart-felt recognition of the flag still being there. Their “home” goes w-a-a-a-a-y out, as if a gigantic home, not a humble home, where the sign is the fingers clustered at the side of the mouth moved directly backward to the middle of the cheek. It’s a diminutive sign, not a broadly executed sign as if yelling the word “H-O-O-O-O-O-M-E.”
Ew, I hate them all now. I wish I hadn’t seen them mess up this song so badly. I’m not even going to show them because they’re too embarrassing. Have a look if you care to see what I mean, YouTube [star spangled banner asl.]
This song is not about, "Oh here I am on stage showing a song broadly so the people in the last tiers can see me." We have cameras for that. It's about being under attack by the most awesome naval force on earth. Our tiny country under attack. It's about weather. About atmosphere, smoke, rain, hardship, very real fear, bombs being shot at us, our country being brand new, our entire experiment being attacked. It's about flaring rockets, exploding bombs, sparkling stars, darkness, and glistening morning light. It's about joy. It's about humility.
This guy, Robert DeMayo, gets it. He’s a very good explainer. I wish all the other silly interpreters would learn from him. He knows what he’s doing and he explains the song to deaf people. Have a look. I'll bet you ten dollars, that smart as you are, you'll see something you didn't already know.
Here he is showing the song. You know the words. For fun, see if you can recognize them without the music. After he already explained it.