If nothing else, Christina Aguilera's national anthem mess has renewed that age-old debate, writes Alan Wirzbicki at the Boston Globe: Considering that this one is so tough to sing, shouldn't we just pick a new anthem? "Flubs like Aguilera's might be easier to overlook if the difficult-to-sing song was also widely beloved," he writes. "But it's not." Writing for the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri wholeheartedly agrees—and complains that the tune is unoriginal. "I can understand that, back in 1812, there were maybe three lyricists and no working composers in America, but this is no longer the case."
"So why," she continues, "do we have to keep this ungodly anthem, which makes even the best singer on earth sound like she swallowed a demonically possessed cat?" If we face facts, adds Max Read at Gawker, we'll see that "Americans are neither talented enough nor smart enough to pull off the Star-Spangled Banner. There are, like, three octaves! And big words!" Alternatives? He assesses the contenders—among them, America the Beautiful, God Bless America, This Land Is Your Land, the bagels jingle Pizza in the Morning—with an eye toward how likely Aguilera would be to mess up the lyrics. Click to read.