The New York Times carried an article this weekend complaining that the Star-Spangled Banner being played at Rio 2016 sounds sad.
The article’s four years late, since it’s actually the anthem from London 2012, but if you want to read a more thoughtful, musicological comment about why the argument’s bunkum, head to New Yorker classical music critic Alex Ross’s site.
The Times’ article also revealed a journalist is writing yet another history of the US anthem. Don’t wait for it; buy my book instead. It does the whole history in one chapter and with the occasional funny travelogue, which is clearly all you actually need!
In related news, American Twitter users have being going insane whenever one of their athletes has failed to put their hand on their heart during the anthem – gymnast Gabby Douglas even had to apologise for not doing so.
The outrage is incomprehensible for so many reasons, but just be thankful an American athlete has not yet stuck their tongue out during the Star-Spangled Banner, like Bradley Wiggins did for God Save the Queen.