Top Three Versions of the National Anthem as Chosen by Sen. Cowan

Posted May 24, 2013 at 2:27pm

In honor of Memorial Day, we present to you the following, courtesy of Massachusetts’ junior senator.

Following a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Friday’s commencement of the Boston College Law School, Sen. William “Mo” Cowan, D-Mass., went off script for a moment before addressing the graduating class of near-lawyers.

“Before I get into my prepared remarks — some of my staff is a little nervous — let me say something,” Cowan began. “Since that fateful morning, oh so many years ago, when the sun rose after the attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor and Francis Scott Key penned ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ it has been performed in many places and in many ways.

“But I submit to you, ladies and gentlemen, there are three versions that are considered the classics. You may recall in 1969 Woodstock when Jimi Hendrix played left handed.”

Cowan continued: “You weren’t around back then? Maybe you were around, like I was, in [1983] when Marvin Gaye walked to the center court of the Great Western Forum at the NBA All-Star game and performed a very soulful rendition.”

“And certainly, I suspect most of you were alive, in 1991 when Whitney Houston took to the field before the Super Bowl to sing what is arguably the greatest performance of our national anthem ever,” Cowan said.

“Today, ladies and gentlemen, I submit to you a fourth version,” Cowan said about the version of the anthem that graduating BC law student Harold T. Hines belted out before the beginning of the ceremony. The crowd went wild.

We challenge you, dear readers, to watch the versions above and not get choked up from love of country.