I couldn't agree more with columnist Esther Cepeda's lamentation over how the National Anthem is being "sung" by some these days. ("Back to the basic 'Star Spangled Banner'," Opinion, July 4.) She pines for a return to a "standard, barebones" delivery.
In so many instances today, singers have preempted the musical score, offering their version of "The Far Mangled Manner." Why should vocal pyrotechnics that only serve to call attention to the singer take precedence over the nation's invocation? This isn't a moment for entertainment, for gosh sakes. It is a righteous salute to our country! Get a clue.
Shakespeare wrote these words for Hamlet to intone, and Francis Scott Key would surely have agreed: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue, but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines." Yea, verily.