Playing the Field: Canadian singer Alexis Normand butchers ‘Star-Spangled Banner’

Oh, that crazy Francis Scott Key and his confusing “Star-Spangled Banner.”

I imagine people have been butchering America’s national anthem since it came into existence, but nothing has done more damage to the song than sporting events. Our latest entry in the “Oh, this is not good” category came this weekend from a Canadian junior hockey league tournament.

Plucky Canadian singer Alexis Normand is charged with singing the Canadian and American anthems at the Memorial Cup and since all hockey is televised in Canada, she has the unfortunate honor of her disaster preserved for YouTube eternity.

Ms. Normand actually starts out strong. But unfortunately it all goes terribly wrong at the end of the third line: “Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight.” She loses the last word — night? fight? — and then just loses it totally.

There are an incredibly painful seven seconds of silence, then she tries to start the third line over again and mostly just mumbles through the second half of the song.

But she certainly finished strong.

She apologized for the bungling on Twitter, and frankly I feel bad enough for her.

 

She’s a French-Canadian jazz singer from Saskatchewan for Christ’s sake! Oh and she’s quite amazingly good at her actual singing profession. (No, I don’t speak French either.)

So hang in there, Alexis. It could always be worse. You could be Carl Lewis … or Roseanne Barr … or that girl at the Trailblazers game … or, well you get the point.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports. Let’s see Carl Lewis sing the Canadian anthem. That would be serious entertainment.


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