Naomi Lewin, WQXR Host
Naomi Lewin is the weekday afternoon host on WQXR, and the host of WQXR’s weekly opera program Operavore, and weekly podcast Conducting Business.
With all the hoo-ha over Christina Aguilera's reinvented lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner, I have to say that I have some sympathy for her. Not for her choice of hair color, or for the way she chose to rewrite the music, but trying to remember the words when you're under pressure -- I can relate.
Once upon a time, I was asked to sing the National Anthem for the opening of a Reds game. (Before you Mets fans go crazy, let me hasten to add that I am one, too, and I was living in Cincinnati at the time.) Now, I know the Star-Spangled Banner, I've known it since I was a kid, but standing out there on the field in front of thousands of people -- never mind millions of people watching the Super Bowl -- your brain plays tricks on you.
Lucky for me, in the old Cinergy Field, they had a screen right next to the American flag displaying the lyrics, line by line. So as I gazed patriotically at Old Glory, there was a constant reminder of what words came next. I can't quite imagine they don't have a display like that at Cowboys Stadium, too... but I'm willing to give the Ms. Aguilera the benefit of the doubt.
Weigh in: What did you think of Christina Aguilera's National Anthem performance? Do you have a favorite or least favorite version? And singers: do you have a story about messing up the lyrics in performance? Leave a comment below.