Saturday, April 29, 2006

Star Spangled Banner in Spanish

The release of ``Nuestro Himno,'' which means ``Our Anthem", features artists such as Wyclef Jean, Carlos Ponce and Olga Tanon. As exciting as this collaboration sounds (not!), the song's release coincides with a planned May 1 national boycott in support of immigration reforms. President Bush said Friday that he doesn't support boycotts and believes the national anthem should be sung in English and not Spanish.

Oh how I cringed when I heard that.

My neck still hurts from that cringe too.

Anyway, Tonkhero and I had a debate about the issue this morning. Although he doesn't have some weird patriotic objection to the song being sung in Spanish, he feels it's un-strategic for the movement, and may turn off or distract potential supporters and allies from the real issues at hand.

I agree that the Spanish version of the Star Spangled Banner may not solve anti-immigrant legislation, but I find the act very symbolic and powerful. The Spanish SSB salutes to a multicultural, multi-lingual America. In fact, when I think of the music video for the Spanish SSB, I see little children from all over the world, in different shapes and colors, linked together holding hands across America (with Wyclef swaying on a cloud). It's all one love.

You know, I would be ecstatic if a group of limited English speakers wanted to translate one of my songs into their respective language, so that millions of them and others could sing it... and to sing it with pride. I would be honored. These English-only Americans are fools.

Also, when did English speakers own the rights to SSB? I would think SSB is public domain by now.

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