There isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Whitney Houston’s performance prior to Super Bowl XXV is widely regarded as the standard:
For most, "The Star-Spangled Banner" is the one thing you just don’t mess with. My grandfather used to say, “There’s no reason to do all that crap to that song. Just sing it the way it’s composed.” I think most feel that way, and I think it stems from a basic principle – “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a tribute to our country, for what we stand, and to all who have taken and continue to take the oath to defend it. It’s not about the performer. Hubris knows few equals than he who uses that pre-game platform to showcase his own talents.
But I have to admit that I do not mind the individual who chooses to take our anthem to another level, who is inspired to go somewhere few would dare venture. Now I’m not talking about breaking this off prior to a Brewers-Reds game in July, but comedian Daniel Tosh (who is fantastic, by the way) once remarked, “No one has the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ on their iPod.” I know I don’t, but pretty soon this version will be: