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A better national anthem?

Declaring that "The Star-Spangled Banner" has "got to go" as the national anthem because of its two-octave range, melodic leaps, bloody lyrics and lack of places to breathe, columnist Michael Kinsley suggests some replacements, including "America," "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America" and "This Land Is Your Land" (despite its communist roots). Or, Kinsley writes: "How about Bruce Springsteen's 'Born in the USA'? A bit dark for a national anthem, I suppose. The Shaker hymn 'Simple Gifts' (turned by Aaron Copland into a theme in 'Appalachian Spring')? . . . Anything would be better than those 'bombs bursting in air.'"

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