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October 26, 2012

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David Noah

It's just a step to the right...

EC

The song is called "America the Beautiful." "God Bless America" is a different song. Not that Meatloaf seems to be paying attention.

It used to be sung as an 'alternative' to the National Anthem, not as left as "This Land is Your Land," but it less militaristic. "My Country 'Tis of Thee" (with that familiar melody) is another popular anthem which I associate more with the right.

There is a vibrant history of the role national songs have played as anthems at different times and, often, for different American political tribes.

Ian Leslie

The NYT says Meatloaf was singing GBA, but you may have other information.

EC

I am right: I know the melody and lyrics. And ATB and GBA are very different on both counts. I can't imagine why the NYT said that, unless Meatloaf sang both - which no one else reported.

All news outlets that included the video of the event also say so. Watch a video of the event, if you can bear it. It is very mangled but beginning with "O beautiful" and ending with "Crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea" is very clear and that is America the Beautiful and certainly not God Bless America.

Minor point, but I take an interest in 'anthems' and more generally the role of music in politics.

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