#297 Singing the national anthem with a big crowd

We start as strangers.

Pushing into sweaty stadiums for the ballgame or splitting into opposites sides of the soccer pitch always feels like we’re getting ready to battle, getting ready to fight, and getting ready to cheer. Grab your flag, pump your fist, and finish that beer as we all amp up for the big game.

And that’s why it’s a beautiful moment when the national anthem hits the speakers and slices through the crowd. Suddenly we all stop for a minute and swish and swirl together …  standing beside each other, singing the same song, proud of our home country, and all just standing strong…


Photo from: here

47 thoughts on “#297 Singing the national anthem with a big crowd

    1. Australians all let us rejoice!

      (Or, as children often seem to sing, “Australians all eat ostriches…”

      We most certainly do not!)


    2. I hear you. Do you ever find that at official events and stuff, you sing Advance Australia Fair, and then there’s no football after it, and you just feel sort of odd and let down? :)

  1. New Zealanders gathered in front of the parliamentary buildings to sing the national anthem, and hold a moments silence in memory of those we lost in the Christchurch earthquake. The lawns were completely packed out, it was the first time I heard our anthem with so much soul. I’ll never forget it.

    1. My boyfriend left Christchurch a couple of days before the quake and I’m so thankful that he wasn’t there at the time. I went through the ’89 quake in San Francisco, so I know what it is like to experience something like that. My heart goes out to all your fellow NZ’ers.

  2. Oh my gosh. One of my dreams in life is to sing the National Anthem for some sort of crowd. The feeling I get when I sing, that is a feeling that can never be matched.

    1. This was exactly what I thought of when I read the post and to see this comment was pretty awesome in itself :)
      I don’t know what the reason or logic behind singing the national anthem at movie halls is but I love it nonetheless (sometimes more than the movie itself).

  3. I’m currently an American living in France, but everytime I go back home I go to a baseball game—nothing can match that feeling of singing the star spangled banner and then shouting Play Ball!!!

    1. The “Play Ball!” after the national anthem is pretty good at baseball games..

      But at most of the football games I go to, the national anthem is timed to finish at the exact moment of a flyover by military jets. The roar of those planes as they maintain a controlled pattern just a few hundred yards above a crowd of nearly 70,000 is really something to witness.. ROAR!!!

      It’s definitely an awesome way to conclude the singing of the national anthem..

      1. Wow … that is seriously awesome! I guess if I completed my Freddo-assigned homework, I’d have been to more professional sporting events and could have possibly experienced something similar. ;)

  4. I absolutely don’t consider myself a die-hard patriot, but I teared up last time I was at a ball game and we all sang the anthem!

  5. So true!! Singing with a massive crowd is always a brilliant experience! It always reminds me of when the Toronto Maple Leafs make the playoffs & all the fans at the game are SO into it. Shame we haven’t had such a thrill in such a long time! Ack!

    1. Q: What do the Toronto Maple Leafs and possums have in common?

      A: They play dead at home and get killed on the road.

      Gotta love those Leafs.

  6. Yes! I always sing it, too, even though I don’t have a great singing voice, and even if no one around me is singing.

    But man oh man, the BEST time is when your country has won a gold medal at the Olympics, and your home country is hosting, and the crowd is going mental, and the gold medal winner is singing through his/her tears. Sigh… those were some good times, Vancouver 2010.

    1. Too true! Sometimes you get the same feeling from simple moments as well. Just last Saturday I caught sight of a friendly acquaintance singing. It was through the window at my local cafe, but I sang along too. Those kind of things really make my day.

  7. I discovered your blog by chance, after watching your presentation on TED. Not to sound cliche but your blog is seriously. AWESOME!

  8. In Spain we have it easy, we all sing:” na na na na na na na….” or “la la la …” or what you like most. Our anthem don’t have lyrics so we all improvise at the same time!!! ¡Viva La Roja!

  9. In elementary school we sang our anthem often. These were the days when it was serious business, soldier’s stance, diaphram dig and belt-it-out, show your gratitude ediquette. A giggle or any wavering from such patriotism could mean a trip to the principal’s office and the strap.
    An asthmatic with scholiosis, hardly stood a chance and through a fearful lump in throat, often made a mockery of “on gaurd for thee!”
    Still, I do believe our national anthem is one of the most beautiful.
    In my books it rates up there with Silent Night, Hey Jude, and Born To Run. I get teary in the feeling, the faces, the words, in the moment of reverent unity and pray in days such as these, for all the soldiers being shipped over seas…
    “God keep our land, glorious and free!”

  10. My group of friends is very patriotic. And just recently we broke out into the star spangled banner at a birthday party, the entire party sang. It was awesome.

    1. You really have to be patriotic to sing the Star Spangled Banner at a birthday party. NTTAWWT

  11. I was reminded while watching the last World Cup that the crowd at an England game is the best for this. The entire stadium is bedecked with flags and everyone belts it out. Even during the game there are spontaneous outbursts of “God Save the Queen”, “Rule Britania”, and “Land of Hope and Glory”. What a shame the team didn’t play with the same gusto.

      1. One of the most awesome parts of this clip is a man named Joey Moss, a special needs person who was hired to help out on the dressing room when Wayne Gretzky was dating Vicky Moss. Joey has been faithfully working for the team for years, and he is belting out the national anthem with the most energetic enthusiasm! You can briefly see it in this clip as they pan the bench. Awesome with a capital A!

  12. I love singing the National Anthem along with the performer or )in the case of my favorite hockey team) the band! Even though I’m from the U.S., I also sing along to O Canada… truly one of the most beautiful anthems in the world. Singing the National Anthem at a sporting event: AWESOME!

  13. I cry. Every single time. The SSB is very close to my heart for two reasons ….. 1) It was my all-time favorite thing to play in band …. fast forward 13 years and it became my favorite song to conduct as a high school band director; and 2) As an Army wife, it is near and dear to my heart, especially when my husband is deployed. I love the SSB, I love the tears, I love the goosebumps. It is truly an AWESOME thing!

  14. For me it’s not only signing the national anthem with a big crowd but it is also when a sports team in your city reaches the playoff and all of a sudden the whole is city is friends with each other, we share scores and high-five people who are supporting the team. It is like that in Montreal when the Canadiens reach the playoff and it is one of my favorite time of the year in this city. It is AWESOME !!

  15. I have played in my school band for a few minor league sporting events and that is awesome, but you can’t mention national anthems being sung at sporting events without mentioning NASCAR prerace ceremonies. They make a huge deal about it, unlike any other sport when you don’t even hear the national anthem on TV. And when the flyover comes over as “O’er the land of the free”, all of the 150,000+ fans just start cheering like crazy. PURE AWESOMENESS!!!!!

  16. When you stop to think of the reason for the national anthem.. it might just be the greatest Tradition of all…

    This totally fits in with 1000 awesome things!
    Excellent Post!

    T Smith, Smile-Therapy.com

  17. I tear up and my heart swells every time I see people unite in this way. Truly awesome post.

  18. There are several versions of Canada’s national anthem, probably
    the most famous being that sung by Roger Doucette before hockey
    games of “Le Canadiens” at the Forum in Montreal, through most of
    the last half century. It became an integral part of the show, many
    visiting spectators seemingly enjoying it as much as the game itself.

    Another that became widely known was that sung by Paul Lorieau
    before all Oilers games once they became part of the NHL. He was
    chosen to perform the anthems because he was bilingual, and would
    always sing the Montreal version (all in French, except for the last
    couplets in English) whenever Canadiens were the visiting team.

    The most commonly sung at international competitions is now the
    Ottawa version, which begins in English, goes to French for the
    middle couplets, then ends in French.

    Since the anthem is fairly short, it might be appropriate to have a
    regulation of sorts in our country, or at least an understanding,
    to always sing it in both languages, first in French which was the
    original version, then in English the wording of which is quite
    different from the verses in French.

    This would not only be inspiring but also educational, since many
    people don’t actually know the words to it in either language.

    Rene D. Benoiton
    Edmonton, AB

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