An Inclusive Litany


Letter to the editor, the Boston Globe, October 18, 2001:
In these troubled times, might it be more appropriate to sing "God Bless America" or "America the Beautiful" instead of the "Star Spangled Banner," in which we refer to "the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air"?

—Phyllis F. Leland

[Ed.: In a Globe op-ed on the same day, Ellen Goodman writes that in addition to being blood-drenched and bellicose, the National Anthem is simply too difficult to sing. Nonsense—it only requires a range of an octave and a half. Perhaps she should practice more. I rather like what it says about the United States that its anthem takes a bit of skill to perform. And can anyone imagine "America the Beautiful" opening a baseball game?]

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