In June, former chair of the California Democrat Party Bill Press took to the airways to express his disgust for America’s National Anthem. “It is a major crusade of mine…to get rid of the Star Spangled Banner,” explained Press, now a liberal radio talk show host. He went on to describe the song as “absolutely, monumentally unsingable” (referring to those high notes), and finished with this: there’s only one phrase ‘the land of the free,’ which is kind of nice, and ‘the home of the brave?’ I don’t know…Are we (Americans) the only ones who are brave on the planet? I mean all the brave people live here. I mean, it’s just stupid I think. I’m embarrassed every time, I’m embarrassed every time we hear it.”
Comedy Central’s Daniel Tosh also has a big problem with our nation’s most loved anthem. “I hate our f—ing anthem,” yelled a disgusted Tosh in what was supposed to be a comedy routine. “Our National Anthem blows, are you kidding me? Do any of you have it on your iPod?”
Why yes, I do, Daniel Tosh! I have several renditions, the latest of which I downloaded after hearing a performance by the band Madison Rising, who I met this summer at the Smart Girl Politics annual summit in Alexandria, VA.
With a debut album that boasts song titles such as Right to Bear, Hallowed Ground, and In The Days That Reagan Ruled, I think it’s safe to say Madison Rising isn’t just any ordinary band. They’re five conservative guys on a mission to “bring rock music back to the forefront of popular culture,” and while doing so, to promote “the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility.”
Motivated by what seems to be a growing disrespect for our nation’s anthem, the band decided to record their own more modern version of The Star Spangled Banner–careful to remain true to the original—and teamed with the National Anthem Celebration Foundation in August to highlight the importance of honoring this part of our American heritage. They issued a challenge: The Star Spangled Banner One Million Star Spangled Challenge. The goal: to get one million views of the Star Spangled Banner by Election Day on November 6. Fans didn’t just meet the challenge, they blew it out of the water. On September 14, Madison Rising announced they had met the goal a full seven weeks ahead of schedule, and boldly issued a second challenge: the Five Million Star Spangled Challenge. The new goal: that five million Americans will view their single–The Star Spangled Banner–on YouTube. And apparently their fan base is growing, evidenced by their #1 bestseller spot in several music categories on Amazon. The song is also available for download on iTunes.
Madison Rising has had a busy month already, appearing last weekend at a Wake Up America Rally in L.A. on the 7th where they were joined by Alfonzo Rachel, who played a few tracks on the drums. (Click here to see Dave Bray’s interview with PolitiChick anchor Ann-Marie Murrell). They performed a benefit concert for the troops in Camp Pendleton, CA on the 9th and this weekend, they’ll be appearing with the guys from Orange County Choppers on Saturday and Sunday at an event that will honor military working dogs. (For more information, or tickets, please visit the Orange County Choppers website) If you’re in the area, please consider taking the opportunity to go hear and meet the band. You’ll never meet a nicer bunch of guys, whose message couldn’t be more important at this moment in our nation’s history.
And while you’re at it, consider accepting the challenge and listen to the Madison Rising version of The Star Spangled Banner. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.
For more information about Madison Rising, check out this great article by Amy Miller, Madison Rising: A Second (Third? Fourth? Millionth?) Chance at Conservative Pop Culture.