I have already confessed to not being much of a football fan, but even I feel it is my duty to watch the Super Bowl now and then. I do not feel I need to watch the whole thing, but I do check in from time to time just to say later that I saw it.
However, Sunday I was tuned in early and witnessed the opening ceremony. My goodness! What a stellar performance of our National Anthem by Lady Gaga. One thing guaranteed to choke me up is the Star Spangled Banner — every time. I do not care if it is before a high school sporting event, Peabody’s annual July Fourth celebration, a national athletic tournament, or a ribbon cutting ceremony, I rarely hear it without emotion. Symphonic wind ensemble or middle school pep band? It does not matter; I am moved by the earnest performance.
I am not sure who Lady Gaga is or why she is famous. For a long time I thought perhaps she was just a leftover Kardashian. My only real reference to her is the fact that she presented my high school classmate Richard Jenkins with an Emmy award in September so I assume she is something in the entertainment world.
Her rendition of our National Anthem was bold, honest, and moving. The anthem is one of the most difficult songs to sing and it is not always done well. In addition, we have a multitude of individuals and groups that have taken the stage to perform their version of the Star Spangled Banner who have butchered it or given it their own personal swag — as if they had the right.
Lady Gaga did a wonderful job and her hand was over her heart, as it is supposed to be. Several people on Monday sat in the downtown Peabody Hall of Knowledge and criticized her clothing, hair, and make-up. They thought she did a terrific job on the song, but she just did not look good. Since I do not know what she is supposed to look like and this is only the second time I have seen her, I have no idea why they all were grousing. People are hard to please.
All I know is that lump rose in my throat and I felt the familiar tug the National Anthem brings. Thank you for your wonderful rendition, Lady Gaga, whoever you might be.