Marvin Gaye sexified it. Jimi Hendrix immortalized it. Rosanne Barr defaced it. But our National Anthem has never been re-written, lyrically. And if it were, hypothetically, to be done, ’round two in ten Americans are saying that the honor ought to go to The Boss, according to a recent 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll. Or 22%, to get specific. Contending right behind The Boss rose Dolly Parton at 19%, followed by Stevie Wonder with 18%. Bob Dylan then came in at 11%, with composer John Williams at 10% and Jay-Z and Madonna carrying the caboose at 8% and 5%, respectively.
What this means from the fractioned looking glass of a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll, you tell us. In the interim let’s get to discussing who could lace a more sweepingly beautiful encapsulation of the “dawn’s early light” to the “twilight’s last gleaming,” considering America’s already abbreviated Francis Scott Key’s 1814 four-verse poem down to that single iconic verse, anyhow. Do you think it could really be done? Do you think it’d be co-opted amidst a stadium/memorial service near you? Would you pick The Boss, too? He did write “Thunder Road.” And that’s a beautifully dark anthem in-and-of-itself. But so is Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream,” in a way. And who would want to hear our nation anthem-ized without a set of skin-tight jeans?
Full disclosure: we’d choose Bob Dylan. I mean, c’mon. Barack the Vote just certified him Medal of Freedom platinum. And the dude wrote “Chimes of Freedom.” On second thought, let’s just listen to “Chimes of Freedom” and marvel at how America can mean so many things to so many different people:
Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.