National Anthem

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Is It Time for a New National Anthem?
A better song to show the nation in all its glory

High school juniors and seniors from Iowa sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" in the Hart Senate Office Building. (CQ Roll Call)

“Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light…” Wait! Stop! Hold the needle right there! We interrupt your regularly scheduled patriotic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” this Fourth of July to make the case for a new American national anthem — one that does a better job of being an actual national anthem.  

It first occurred to me while watching a flat track dirt race (think NASCAR but messier) that ours really isn’t the right genre. Our anthem is a song about a battle in the War of 1812 and a flag and a new nation’s will to fight on against long odds. Most national anthems are songs about the nation and the people.