Let me start this off by saying something: I do not know the words to “O Canada.”
The closest I could ever come to singing that anthem correctly would be yelling “Ohhhh Cannnaaadaaa” and pouring Molson into my face. No one would want to see it, but then again, that’s why I’m not asked to do these things.
Singer Alexis Normand was asked to do this thing—to perform both the Canadian and American anthem at the 2013 Memorial Cup game Saturday. “O Canada” went well for Normand. “The Star Spangled Banner,” however, went down in a garbled blaze of pig Latin and good intentions (via Deadspin).
The song began with promise—Normand’s voice was beautiful and strong. The “dawn’s early light” was shining, the proud hailing was there, but then the “twilight’s last gleaming” became “first gleaming.” That’s when the screws began popping off this anthem.
Normand lost her concentration and began replacing the forgotten words with mouth sounds that were a little bit like the actual lyrics, but not at all. It was admirable, really.
In front of God, television cameras and everyone else, she plowed on through, hoeing the road to its end like a mule and approaching each stanza like bocce ball—she didn’t have to nail it, she just had to throw it in the general area.
Some of the remixed terms:
“Perilly night” (Could be a champagne or a Camp Lo album).
“Whatsoever Israel” (Getting political).
“Rocksule red bear” (Sounds endangered).
This guy was a huge fan.
Fortunately, Normand finished the song on an upswing, and the situation was mercifully ended. You have to give her some credit, she messed up badly, then committed to it—diving in headfirst, like Pete Rose.
With that being said, if you’re ever asked to sing a national anthem, you should probably check out the whole thing. As a rule, CliffNotes aren’t the route you want to take when you have to recite the entire text verbatim on television.
Chandon and Perilly nights for my clique: