Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

It's Super Bowl weekend! I don't care much about the game, and I probably won't watch any of it on TV. But Carrie Underwood will be singing the national anthem tomorrow, and that got me thinking about how much I enjoy good performances of it. Carrie's already proved that she can slay it (at an NBA game in 2005, an NFL game and the MLB All-Star game in 2006, and a World Series game in 2007), so I know I'll enjoy it.

There has been a diverse crop of Super Bowl anthem-performers over the years. A lot of people consider Whitney Houston's Super Bowl 25 rendition from 1991 to be the definitive national anthem performance. It is good, but to me it isn't particularly stirring. This one, by the combined military academy choirs, from Super Bowl 39 in 2005, gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes:

And the harmonies in the Dixie Chicks' performance at Super Bowl 37 in 2003 are spot on:

Faith Hill's performance at Super Bowl 34 in 2000 remains one of my favorites:

Other singers I think have done particularly well are LeAnn Rimes and Jordin Sparks. Of course, I can't write about anthem performances without mentioning homegirl Karen Newman, the voice of the Detroit Red Wings.

And then there are the versions performed by children. I can't get over the Cactus Cuties or the PS22 Chorus.

Who is your favorite anthem singer?


Anonymous said...

Oh by far my favorite is the Chicks! They are my favorite band of ALL time! I think they did awesome!

Classy in Philadelphia said...

Carrie Underwood was great at the superbowl! Loved her!

See you tomorrow for WITWW?!