Monday, January 08, 2007

welcome legislators

There is a man on my radio praying to the god of Abraham on behalf of the state of Oregon. OPB is broadcasting live from the opening of this year's state legislative session. In case you weren't aware, these kinds of things still kick-off with a prayer, which, because of it's traditional quality, has been found not to violate the so-called separation of church and state implied in the First Amendment of the constitution.

Before starting the prayer which was drawn from the Bible, the officiate (whoever he was) was kind enough to remind us that Jews, Christians and Muslims all consider the Bible to be a sacred book. True enough. As for the rest of us, those of us who have less of a relationship with the god of Abraham and that sacred book derived from his people... well... I guess it won't kill us to hear a little prayer. At least it was an inclusive prayer, he even mentioned 'sexual orientation' which, I think, is pretty impressive. If you've gotta hear a prayer, I guess it's good to hear a friendly one.

Anyway, I was more concerned with the woman who sang the anthem. What does it say about this country that we have an anthem that's so hard to sing? Whenever anyone starts, I notice I listen on eggshells, filled with anxiety that the singer's range won't stretch to accomodate those particularly high parts. Is it just me, or does almost everyone who attempts this song end up sounding pretty terrible? When this woman today managed to finish without totally wrecking the thing, I was relieved and proud of her. Unfortunately, something about the ceremony of the occasion precluded applause, which I thought was a real shame. After all that work, all those impossibly high notes, not to mention the pressure she was under, she deserved a hearty round of applause. Good for her.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Joolie said...

I watched Texas' opening session yesterday. The singer was crazy operatic. He nailed the national anthem and even made the Texas state song sound almost stirring. I don't remember if there was applause.

9:13 PM  

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