BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Is Francis Scott Key turning in his grave?  Christina Aguilera’s Super Bowl fumble of the Star Spangled Banner has sparked controversy across the nation, but as Mary Bubala reports, here in Baltimore, it hits an even bigger nerve. 

Christina Aguilera botched a line in the National Anthem.  She sang, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last gleaming,” but line is actually, “O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming.”  The words were written by Maryland’s Francis Scott Key as he witnessed the 1814 British attack on Fort McHenry.

“I heard it and I was like, ‘Was there something wrong there or is it just me?'” said Roswell Encina.  “Then I went online and everyone was talking about it and it exploded.”

But instead of expressing his dismay, Encina—who works for the Enoch Pratt Free Library—used Twitter to spark some interest: “Want to learn the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner?  Come to the Pratt Library.  We’ll have it for you plus loads of books about it.”

“Considering that the roots of the poem that turned into the song started here in Baltimore, I think Baltimoreans should feel proud of it and feel ownership of it at the same time and if anything goes wrong with it, we should be the first ones to point it out,” Encina said.  “I think it should be a teaching experience for parents and teachers out there.”

On March 3, the National Park Service will open a brand new visitor center at Fort McHenry, just in time for the flood of visitors the bicentennial will bring. 

Aguilera issued a statement Sunday night saying, “I got so caught up in the moment of the song that I lost my place.  I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through.”

Click here for a look at the best and worst performances of the Star Spangled Banner.

Comments (4)
  1. PKCaless says:

    As a member of the Maryland Statesociety Daughters of the American Revolution, I am appalled at the way she not only sang the wrong words, but also at how she sang it, with that outlandish variation. As our National Anthem, this song should be sung in the manner in which it was written without variations of the tune, and especially without word variations!

  2. Dave says:

    The only people who make a huge deal of this are just uptight cranks. Considering the entire country is watching you, it’s completely understandable that people could make mistakes. Since when have we become a country that is so unforgiving that a person can’t make an honest mistake without being thrown to the wolves? And if you don’t like “how” she sang it, too bad. The world doesn’t revolve around your musical tastes.

  3. Mike Calo says:

    ~Benard, dave – Thios alleged performer should be used to being on stage. dfave, your comment is absolute nonsense and has nothing to do with the article
    Bernard “not knowing the entire country is watching” the Superbowl is a LAME excuse for messing up a two-hundred-year-old song; further, if this aleged “singer” was supposed to sing the National Antherm, she should have known both the words AND the melody before she sang it. P.S. – the world doesn’t revovlve around YOUR musical tastes, either.

  4. PAM WINN says:

    Let Tichina Aronld sing the national anthem she did a great job ,knew all the lyrics and she had grown ass men crying. YOU GO GIRL

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