Friday, November 25, 2011

Teaching Patriotism

The American national anthem was botched during the Nov. 24, 2011 football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions. The singer, Lauren Alaina, did not know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner and went silent for several seconds. During last year's Super Bowl singer Christina Aguilera fumbled the lyrics to the national anthem.

Patriotic songs are one more thing American public schools no longer teach. It seems as though it is up to us parents to teach our children patriotism and patriotic songs. At the bottom of this post is the first stanza to the Star Spangled Banner. I've printed copies for my family and we will sing the anthem today so I can make sure my children know our anthem.

There is also "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" by Sir Walter Scott, a poem about patriotism that I learned when I went to school.

I hope you will consider teaching your children some of our patriotic songs. In addition to the Star Spangled Banner, I recommend the following:
  • God Bless America
  • America the Beautiful
  • My Country Tis of Thee

Citizens of other nations sing their patriotic songs with fervor. See these examples from YouTube:
Rene Fleming leading Rule Britannia, see the audience join in!
Here are Scots singing Flower of Scotland at at soccer game. It's not fancy singing, but you can see they know the lyrics and love to sing it.
Here is a French TV audience jumping up to sing la Marseillaise when Shakira starts singing it.

America is a great country and there is no reason why our children should not be taught to love it. But if we parents do not do it, it won't happen. Patriotism is one more thing our schools have abandoned.


The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The Lay of the Last Minstrel
by Sir Walter Scott

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored , and unsung.