In honor of the upcoming Olympics, Time Warner is offering “National Anthem Karaoke” on its Sports & Fitness On Demand channel. I know, really silly. When I saw it I thought it might be a joke because who would actually click on that?
I clicked on it. Just to see if it was a joke, you understand. Apparently you can learn the French, German, Canadian, British, Mexican, and American national anthems in preparation for singing along during the ceremonies. Because isn’t that what everyone does? You’re watching the Olympics at a bar, or at home, and they’re giving out medals to people from a country that isn’t yours, and you just feel this great urge to join in with the singing, and you totally would, except that you DON’T KNOW THE WORDS. Well, now all of your problems are solved. Or at least all of your not-being-able-to-sing-foreign-national-anthem-related problems, anyway.
I started with the UK national anthem, which for some inexplicable reason, even though I worked for a British company for 3 years, I hadn’t ever felt the need to listen to, and boy, was I in for a surprise. I had no idea that “God Save the Queen” has the same melody of “My Country Tis of Thee.” Well, technically, “My Country Tis of Thee” has the same melody as “God Save the Queen,” since the latter was obviously created first. Who knew? Lots of people, I guess. But I didn’t.
At first I was a little annoyed to learn that whoever wrote “My Country Tis of Thee” was too lazy to come up with a unique melody and had to resort to borrowing it from the UK. But then my sister suggested that it was done as a sort of slap in the face, taking something meaningful to the British people and turning it into a song about America. So now I’m okay with it.
I wonder what great revelations will come with learning the Mexican national anthem. Probably none, since I don’t speak Spanish, but you never know.