[listen] Sufjan Stevens – “The Star-Spangled Banner”

Feeling patriotic?

- Nov 7, 2012

While the right wing licks their wounds by tearfully screaming “FREEBIRD” at their Ted Nugent mp3s, Sufjan Stevens has a treat for everyone else who's even a teensy bit stoked that America has avoided becoming a complete Randian hellscape, at least for another four years. I'm not sure whether to call his recording of “The Star Spangled Banner” a “cover” or not, as it bears little to no resemblance to the original in both tune and making me actually feel good about a country. It's full of ecstatic patriotism that blossoms through the shambolic electric guitar line and swelling orchestral finale. It makes a strong case for officially updating national anthems every two hundred years, and it doesn't make me think of the horrors of the Civil War, which is nice.

Also streaming below is a rendition of “Angels We Have Heard On High,” taken from Stevens' Silver & Gold: Songs For Christmas box set.

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