Growing up in Durham, NC I was always a Durham Bulls fan. I have fond memories of going to the ballpark and I loved hearing the organ, and I always asked to get there early enough to hear the national anthem. *When I was in elementary school, I was asked to sing the National Anthem at the “old ballpark” which was the park from the movie Bull Durham!
Since the Bulls are a minor league team, I don’t have an allegiance to a professional team. My husband grew up just outside of Philadelphia and his family pulls for the Phillies, naturally! They were all so excited to see the Phillies make the World Series this year, and I’m excited to hear the National Anthem before the games!!!
Last night before Game 1, the National Anthem was sung by Eric Burton (lead singer of the Black Pumas). His tone quality was nice, but on the second verse he lost track of the lyrics. As a professional singer, my heart goes out to him; he’s singing on one of the biggest “stages” with millions of people watching. The nerves must be insane! It is not surprising that he got a little turned around with the lyrics. Messing up the Anthem is actually a pretty pervasive issue---a ton of examples can be found here from Steven Tyler to Christina Aguilera.
In my opinion, there’s no shame in showing the lyrics on the Megatron. The song is vocally challenging (picking the right key will take you forever!) and the lyrics aren’t exactly colloquial. Showing the lyrics on the Megatron would help the performer, but also perhaps encourage fans to sing along!
I’ve read other opinions that bash Eric Burton to the effect of, “He’s making so much money to do this and he’s a professional. How could he get it wrong?” No performance is ever perfect, and that’s the beauty and curse of live performance. You prepare as much as humanly possible, but nerves, distracting fans, and audio issues (hearing yourself) can be major hurdles.
What are your thoughts:
-Forgive and forget
-How could he?!?
Leave a comment below!
Maria Palombo is the founder of Finely Tuned Voice Lessons, a private voice studio. Her studio is open to all regardless of age or ability.