Should Fans Stop Singing The Wrong Lyrics To Our National Anthem?
You want to get Americans riled up and offended? Mess with the National Anthem. We do it all the time with performers who either flub the lyrics or perform the song in a way that we don't deem to be respectful. But what happens when sports fans are the ones altering the words to the Star Spangled Banner?
I'll admit that I had no idea this was going on until Taylor Swift went to a Kansas City Chiefs game. Her ongoing romance with Travis Kelce has produced numerous headlines, but one that caught my attention was when the media caught Taylor singing the National Anthem in a booth at Arrowhead and doing it "our way." What exactly does that mean?
Apparently, at the very end of The Star Spangled Banner, Chief fans don't sing "home of the brave." They change the words to "the home of the Chiefs." Clever, right? And according to many, this is nothing new as fans have been singing this for decades. Once again, I had no idea that this was a thing. I've been to many NFL games in my life, mostly in Green Bay. I'd never heard fans sing anything other than the words of Francis Scott Key.
First of all, I'd like to point out that other fans of pro sports teams, many of them in the NHL, will also sing something different towards the end of the anthem. Secondly, I don't believe that when fans do that, including in Kansas City, they are doing it out of disrespect for our country. I get it...they're literally at the 'home of the Chiefs.' But in the end, shouldn't we be treating The Star Spangled Banner with a little more respect?
When I hear the anthem play at a sporting event, whether it be at a high school game, Kinnick Stadium, or Lambeau Field, I take that opportunity to pay homage to our nation and the men and women who died to make it the great place we live today. Hat off. Hand over my heart. And when I sing, it is the lyrics that Francis Scott Key wrote down in his poem in 1814. "O'er the land of the free and the home of the BRAVE."
What KC fans do at the end of the anthem shouldn't be compared or considered a form of protest. I certainly wouldn't call it that. But in the end, is it still disrespectful? Does the tradition need to end, or should the fun-haters just 'Shake It Off?'
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Gallery Credit: Andrew Lisa