Jazz Singer Rene Marie Eschews National Anthem in Protest

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Makwa Makwa's picture
Jazz Singer Rene Marie Eschews National Anthem in Protest

 

Makwa Makwa's picture

Ms. Rene Marie substitutes the words from "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (called by some the `Black National Anthem`) during an invited singing of the American National anthem. While I am proud of her stance, and agree that more African-American and so-called Native-American people should reject the American National anthem and other nationalist symbols of their historical racist oppression out of hand, I think it was wrong to do this surreptitiously. Instead she should have announced her intention and stated her opposition to her nations history of violent racism before beginning her song. I hope more people now emulate her approach in public spaces where this anthem is sung as a visible and dynamic demonstration of anti-racist beliefs.

AfroHealer

I see n o problem with what she did.

I do find it interesting tha tthe foxnews reporter misrepresented the event, by stating that there was silence after she sang.

There wasnt a standing ovation at the end, but people were clappiing.

I think civil disobedience, is just that. Telling people in advance that you are going to civilly disobey, more or less defeats the purpose of the whole exercise.

So much love and respect,

Damm that Sista can sing!!! & is socially conscious!! that is one potent combination & i hope and pray she keeps it up.

Seddig

I am not familiar with the American National Anthem. What does it suppose to say and what has she changed?

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I've always loved the melody of the US national anthem. Rene Marie's rendition with the [i]Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing[/i] is beautiful.

I agree with Afro Healer. That was an amazing act on her part.

I also think that her protest was made all the more poignant when juxtaposed with the ticker tape news bulletin that read:

[i][b]Black Soldier Raped, Brutalized N Murdered Covered Up[/i][/b]

Michelle

Wow. Did that ever take guts.

I also agree with AfroHealer. They probably would have stopped her from singing if she'd warned them beforehand. It was great that she did it that way.

The traditional lyrics are full of war imagery, although it certainly is a gorgeous song either way. I'm no flag waver, but the song always gives me shivers with the regular lyrics simply because of the music itself - I've never heard these lyrics before and wow, that increased the shiver effect tenfold.

Thanks so much for posting this, Makwa.

Makwa Makwa's picture

quote:


Originally posted by laine lowe:
[b]I've always loved the melody of the US national anthem. [/b]

Not bad for an old English [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anacreontic_Song#The_Star-Spangled_Bann... song[/url], although the original lyrics were prolly less bloodthirsty and more plain thirsty. [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

quote:

Originally posted by Seddig:
[b]I am not familiar with the American National Anthem. What does it suppose to say and what has she changed?[/b]

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anacreontic_Song#The_Star-Spangled_Bann... Spangled Banner.
[/url] [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift_Every_Voice_and_Sing#Lyrics]Lift Every Voice and Sing.[/url]

The former is about killing British people, and the latter is about not killing African people.

[ 06 July 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ]

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Amazing.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The right-wing media and blogosphere are of course going apeshit over this story.

To nobody's surprise, Barack O-bomb-a was [url=http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jul/03/she-deceived-us-mayor-... to condemn[/url] Rene Marie's courageous act of civil disobedience.

I wonder, would he have condemned Rosa Parks in 1955, if he had thought it would gain him votes?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I've always loved the irony of the American Anthem. It is a whine about the British bombing their cites because they attacked Upper and Lower Canada. The first war in which American congressmen told the American people that all they had to do was march into a foreign country (Canada)and they would be greeted as liberators.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, the Star Spangled Banner isn't about U.S. troops attacking somebody else. It's about the British kicking the crap out of the Yanks at Fort McHenry, Maryland. The main point of the song was that, after the ass-whupping the Brits administered in that battle, the flag flying over the fort somehow hadn't been destroyed.

I've always found it an interesting paradox that, considering how the U.S. is a country so obsessed with victory, our anthem actually commemorates a brutal defeat.

I think that what Rene Marie did was courageous.

Here's another one I'd like to see:

At major league baseball games in the U.S. since 9/11, it's become customary to have someone sing "God Bless America" during the "seventh-inning stretch"(the time between the top and the bottom of the seventh inning in which "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" was once traditionally sung by the crowd.)

I'd like to see people show up for that and sing Phil Ochs' "Power And The Glory" or Buffy Sainte-Marie's "My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying", or perhaps Tracy Chapman's "Talking 'Bout A Revolution" or Public Enemy's "Fight The Power".

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Yes Ken except you forgot the point that America invaded Canada first and that is why the British gave them a ass whooping. It is ironic since it was the British warships bombing from out of range much like America uses its airpower today to strike at targets.

Jingles

quote:


At major league baseball games in the U.S. since 9/11, it's become customary to have someone sing "God Bless America" during the "seventh-inning stretch"

Creepy. I got a song they can sing. It's right up their alley:

quote:

Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
S. A. marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.
Kameraden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschieren im Geist in unseren Reihen mit.

Die StraЯe frei den braunen Batallionen.
Die StraЯe frei dem Sturmabteilungsmann!
Es schaun aufs Hakenkreuz voll Hoffnung schon Millionen.
Der Tag fьr Freiheit und fūr Brot bricht an!


They ain't too far off.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Ken Burch:
[b]At major league baseball games in the U.S. since 9/11, it's become customary to have someone sing "God Bless America" during the "seventh-inning stretch"....[/b]

As a matter of fact, it was mandated by Major League Baseball that this be done at all MLB games, including, initially, those played in Canada.

It was at that point that I gave up forever being a pro baseball fan and have never watched a game since. MLB is nothing but a conduit for US cultural and political imperialism and brainwashing. Ditto the [url=http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030428/robbins]Baseball Hall of Fame[/url].

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

quote:


Originally posted by kropotkin1951:
[b]Yes Ken except you forgot the point that America invaded Canada first and that is why the British gave them a ass whooping. It is ironic since it was the British warships bombing from out of range much like America uses its airpower today to strike at targets.[/b]

I agree that the U.S. did invade Canada first. My point was simply the paradox that the specific incident the song commemorates was a U.S. defeat.
There's also the interesting point that some have made that the word "free" is tied to the highest and most unsingable note in the melody.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Funny, I always thought the most unsingable note was on "say".

RosaL

deleted. I see this is the anti-racism forum. My post is off topic for this forum and I don't want to be attacked.

[ 08 July 2008: Message edited by: RosaL ]

Seddig

quote:


Originally posted by Makwa:
[QB

The former is about killing British people, and the latter is about not killing African people.

[ 06 July 2008: Message edited by: Makwa ][/QB]


thanks so much Makwa you are so resourceful. I should have looked for it myslef but didn't know what Iwas looking for.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I listened to the piece again and it is very moving. I think that she was asked to sing and it wasn't a paid gig. The Mayor wanted her for his political purposes and she wanted to sin g for hers. I found this on her web site.

quote:

WHY DIDN’T YOU SIMPLY TURN DOWN THE REQUEST TO SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM?
I viewed the invitation to be a door opened to me to sing this version of the Star Spangled Banner; that others needed to hear it as much as I needed to sing it. Also, I had sung the song successfully right in the city of Denver only two months earlier and received much positive response. The organizers of that event did not know I was going to sing that song, either.

[url=http://www.renemarie.com/qa.htm]Rene Marie[/url] I wish her well and I hope her activism helps her reach a wider audience and help her sell more of her music. I pulled the lyrics from WIKI and looked at them while she was singing and what she sang was her own rendition of an old song.