"Black National Anthem" Controversy In Denver - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-03-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
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"Black National Anthem" Controversy In Denver

Artistic expression or inappropriate?

ABC News: Singer Subs Black Lyrics in National Anthem

9News.com

DENVER - Mayor John Hickenlooper's annual State of the City address may get more attention for what wasn't included than what was.

At the start of the event Tuesday morning, City Council President Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem.

Instead, she performed the song "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," which is also known as the "black national anthem."

When she finished, the audience responded with mild applause. The national anthem was never performed.

Governor Bill Ritter (D-Colorado) discussed the incident on The Mike Rosen Show on 850 KOA on Wednesday morning, calling it "inappropriate."

"I don't think it's fair artistic expression," said Ritter.

Ritter went on to say he felt Marie's actions were "wrong" and "outside the bounds."

"It certainly is operating as a distraction," said Ritter.

Marie told 9NEWS she kept her plans to switch songs quiet until the very last moment. She says only she, her husband and a friend knew she was going to sing something other than the "Star-Spangled Banner."

She says she wanted to express her love of her country by mixing the lyrics of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" with the melody of the "Star-Spangled Banner."

"When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: 'I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,'" said Marie.

Hickenlooper's staff picked Marie to sing the national anthem. The mayor says he believes Marie did not intend to offend anyone or make a political statement.

When asked if he was offended, Hickenlooper said, "You know I was more confused and I think I was more ? what I was, was disappointed and confused and that's why I wanted to talk to her."

"Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899 and set to music by his brother in 1900.

City Councilman Charlie Brown took to talk radio Tuesday afternoon to criticize the absence of the national anthem at the State of the City proceedings.

"There is no substitute for the national anthem, period," Brown said. "And that's what really bothered me. You know when we fly the flag, the American flag, it's always the highest flag, as it should be. And that didn't come across today, that didn't happen today."

In hindsight, both Brown and Hickenlooper say they should have stopped Marie or began singing themselves.

Marie says if she had the benefit of doing it over, she would sing the same song.

When asked if she would apologize for what happened she said, "No I do not."

Marie has been singing professionally for 10 years.

Brown says he doesn't have a problem with people expressing their views, but he says Marie chose the wrong venue.

LIFT EV'RY VOICE AND SING

Also known as "The Black National Anthem"

by James Weldon Johnson

Lift ev'ry voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring.

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise,

High as the list'ning skies,

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,

Bitter the chast'ning rod,

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet with a steady beat,

Have not our weary feet,

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered,

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past,

Till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who has by Thy might,

Led us into the light,

Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,

Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee,

Shadowed beneath thy hand,

May we forever stand,

True to our God,

True to our native land.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
"I don't think it's fair artistic expression," said Ritter.
What does that even mean
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:33 AM   #3
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Maybe that "fair" artistic expression would be changing up the melody a bit, like some people do when they perform the anthem. Not doing a completely different song.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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Art doesn't have to be fair. He could be offended all he wants, that's his perogative, but to tell her it wasn't a "fair" artistic expression is just ridiculous.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:45 AM   #5
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I think he just means it's "unfair" somehow to agree to do one song and to then do a completely different song. Like if you hired Bono to sing Happy Birthday at your birthday party and he did "Like A Virgin" instead. Would that be art?

Was Roseanne Barr's version artistic expression? Fair?
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:56 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
Like if you hired Bono to sing Happy Birthday at your birthday party and he did "Like A Virgin" instead. Would that be art?
That would be hot...
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
Was Roseanne Barr's version artistic expression? Fair?
No, that was just an awful decision to hire her...
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSpringsteen View Post
I think he just means it's "unfair" somehow to agree to do one song and to then do a completely different song. Like if you hired Bono to sing Happy Birthday at your birthday party and he did "Like A Virgin" instead. Would that be art?


i don't know about art, but it would certainly qualify as Best. Birthday. Ever.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:46 AM   #8
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In hindsight, both Brown and Hickenlooper say they should have stopped Marie or began singing themselves.

Marie says if she had the benefit of doing it over, she would sing the same song.

When asked if she would apologize for what happened she said, "No I do not."
recreate '68 baby !!
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
"When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: 'I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,'" said Marie.
Ok, we have this.



Quote:
Hickenlooper's staff picked Marie to sing the national anthem. The mayor says he believes Marie did not intend to offend anyone or make a political statement.
Really?
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:36 PM   #10
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Yeah, that puzzled me either. Of course this was kind of a political statement.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #11
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recreate '68 baby !!

not in Denver

Howard Dean and the Democrats are sticking to the Bush/Cheney play book on this one, too (among others, we have seen lately, sorry Kos )

there will be a 'fenced in' Free Speech Zone
removed - out of sight, from where it would have any effect

if they are going to caged them

do it right - caged in go-go dancers
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
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I have heard this song a few times

I like it


I did not know it was

The Negro National Anthem


I thought it was called

LIFT EV'RY VOICE AND SING
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:55 PM   #13
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:51 PM   #14
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It was a political statement. I don't think that was the appropriate venue for it.

That said, I'm not all that sympathetic to the national anthem defenders either.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=deep;5264810]
Negro [QUOTE]


Deep, you know we don't use this word anymore. . .
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