The national anthem commemorates the struggle of our nascent country at war. The lyrics come from a poem Francis Scott Key penned 200 years ago during the War of 1812: "The Defence of Fort McHenry." But does the song reflect the country today, centuries later? It's not an easy song to sing, and the words can be hard to remember.
Back in 1905, before it was the official anthem, The New York Times complained that the song’s range was beyond that of the average voice and a poor choice for a national anthem. Opera’s first superstar Enrico Caruso liked to sing it, but he had trouble with the words and concocted a phonetic version. Try this out:
O seiken iu su bai dhi dons erli lait
Huat so praudli ui heild
At dhi twailaits last glimmin
The song doesn't reflect history since that time, where women and minorities struggled for civil rights, for example. We also have a wide diversity of musical genres that could better reflect the ideals of patriotism.