Cyndi Lauper's National Anthem Flub Is No Big Deal

Somewhere Christina Aguilera is repeatedly thrusting a clenched fist into the sky and hissing, "YESSSSSSSS," because there's finally another celebrity to take over her position as Shamed Singer Who Biffed the National Anthem, I Mean Seriously Do You Hate America or WHAT.

Cyndi Lauper now has the dubious honor of being the latest performer to flub that tricky bit about the ramparts, which is the exact same line that Xtina stumbled over during the Super Bowl. Lauper was singing the anthem at the U.S. Open on Saturday when she accidentally swapped around some lyrics, earning her some tough criticism from news outlets, who instantly reported that she "botched" the anthem, and "mumbled her way through the line she messed up, like an elementary school student who forgets the lyrics."

Way harsh, Tai. Especially when you consider the majority of Americans don't know our own anthem by heart.


Hell, I know I don't. I could easily rattle off every word of the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere," but if you asked me to get up and belt out "The Star Spangled Banner," I'd be in a lot of trouble starting right around the second line. (Something about ... twilight's reaming? Teeming?) Never mind the sheer impossibility of hitting those lung-busting notes during the part about the rocket's red glare—somewhere, a dog would be howling in agony.

Our national anthem is a bitch to sing, is all I'm saying. I mean, sure, we expect professional musicians to be able to remember the lyrics, but was it really so bad for her to swap out "O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming" with "O'er the ramparts we watched as our flag was still streaming"? Be honest, is it obvious she made a mistake when you watch the performance?

Aguilera got caught up by the same line, replacing "o'er the ramparts we watched" with "what so proudly we watched." Eh, I can't judge either one of these mistakes. At least they swapped that troublesome lyric with something that made sense within the context of the song. I would have just stood there with my mouth gaping open, praying for death.

While Aguilera released a statement after her goof that said, "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through," Lauper took things a step further and blamed her forgetfulness on 9/11 memories:

Whew, I just did the anthem for the US open. It was an awesome experience. I got choked up in the middle remembering 9/11. (...) I tried to say a prayer at the same time. I hope I didn't mess up too bad. I wanted it to be comforting.

Do you hear that, naysayers? She was distracted because she was remembering September 11th. Just TRY and criticize her patriotism now.

What's your take on performers who mess up the national anthem lyrics? Forgivable, or just plain unprofessional?

Image via Flickr/Lucas Jork

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