Perhaps We Should Institute a Time Limit on the National Anthem

(AP Photo/Charlie Krupa)

Listen — I’m as proud an American as the next guy. I love apple pie, and country music, and boobs. But I think that when someone takes as long as Christina Aguilera did to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl yesterday, patriotism may have gotten a little out of hand.

Ms. Aguilera clocked in at just over two minutes to sing the following eight lines of lyrics:

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

Now, I ask you — how long does it take you to read those words out loud? 20, maybe 30 seconds?

I get that there’s some embellishment when it comes to being a songstress, and certainly Christina is great at doing that (other than her lyrical mishap last night…party foul). But her first note, lasting about ten seconds, shouldn’t make me roll my eyes and wonder whether I should get up for a quick jog or something until she’s done.

Folks, it’s getting ridiculous. Is it time for a time limit?

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    • Aj

      Lol I was making this point to my family last night before she started. I actually thought it was going to take her longer than it ended up being

      • Renae

        It would have, assuming she’d actually sung the whole thing.

    • L

      I think there should be a contest. Sing it in under eight seconds and you get free front row seats.

    • Eileen

      I just sang it to myself (bearing in mind that I’m a shitty singer and have no desire to prolong the experience – but also that I’m in the band and regularly play the national anthem at sporting events, so I do stick to a certain tempo), and it took 1:20. Christina’s version got particularly bad after she fucked up the lyrics, but I don’t think it was completely unreasonable.

    • Penelope

      Just sing it the way it’s written, for the love. It’s a national anthem, it deserves more respect than a vehicle to rescue your flagging career. Every celebrity I hear singing it manages to squeeze every last ounce out of every single note. Make it stop!

    • Shae

      I, for one, am so glad to have made the conscious decision to turn on the Superbowl AFTER this happened.