Sunday, May 07, 2006

Natural Anthem

There has been debate not only over the question of whether the national anthem should be sung in Spanish, but whether or not we should even be debating this. I think we should because it is illustrative of the larger issue of framing.
What does the question even mean? Should the national anthem be sung in Spanish? Does this mean that there is a movement to replace Francis Scott Key's Star Spangled Banner with Nuestro Himno? No. It doesn't. And there isn't
But the question is framed to make it appear that there is some sort of coordinated attack on "traditional values," whatever that phrase means. Since according to the Boston Globe there have ben several other foreign language versions of the Star Spangled Banner, including two in Yiddish.
The question that is really too rediculous to ask is "Can the national anthem be sung in Spanish?" As in, "is it permissable to do so?"
And of course it is.
I have no problem with Feliz Navidad either. I think it's a catchy tune.
But since I never miss an opportunity to contradict myself, i have to say that I do understand come of the uneasiness of, what for lack of a better term, I will call purists. Perhaps some immigrants can't appreciate the national anthem because they are too new to the country or due to the language barrier. I recently became an Italian citizen. The Italian national anthem doesn't mean a damn thing to me. But I also am not asking them to change it to the Sopranos's theme song. I should learn the culture and do the work to learn to appreciate it.

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