April 29, 2006


President Wants Anthem Sung in English (Jim VandeHei, April 29, 2006, Washington Post)

President Bush yesterday said "The Star-Spangled Banner" should be sung in English, not Spanish, and condemned plans by some immigrant groups to stage a work protest on Monday to sway the debate over the nation's immigration laws.

With passions running high over the release of "Nuestro Himno," a Spanish-language version of the national anthem, Bush told reporters that people who want to be citizens of the United States should learn English and "ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English." [...]

On the national anthem controversy, Bush, who speaks Spanish, was pulled into the debate after British music producer Adam Kidron released the Spanish version yesterday. Kidron said he wanted to honor U.S. immigrants.

In a statement released after Bush spoke, Kidron said: "The intention of recording 'Nuestro Himno' (Our Anthem) has never been to discourage immigrants from learning English and embracing American culture."

So long as they learn English there's nothing wrong with singing the Star-Spangled Banner in other languages. The real problem with this version is that they changed the words, Nuestro Himno (Chicago Tribune, 4/26/06):
Verse 1

Oh say can you see, a la luz de la aurora/Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer? Sus estrellas, sus franjas flotaban ayer/En el fiero combate en senal de victoria,/Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertada,/Por la noche decian: "Se va defendiendo!"

Coro: Oh, decid! Despliega aun su hermosura estrellada,/Sobre tierra de libres, la bandera sagrada?


It's time to make a difference the kids, men and the women/Let's stand for our beliefs, let's stand for our vision/What about the children los ninos como P-Star

These kids have no parents, cause all of these mean laws.

See this can't happen, not only about the Latins.

Asians, blacks and whites and all they do is adding

more and more, let's not start a war

with all these hard workers,

they can't help where they were born.

No flag burning, no cartoons of Muhammed, and leave the National Anthem alone.

The Japanese, who face the prospect of having to allow huge immigration as they age, have wisely chosaen to focus on the assimilation angle, Diet handed 'patriotic' education bill: Proposed change of '47 law has foes, including teachers, fearing Big Brother (AKEMI NAKAMURA and HIROKO NAKATA, 4/29/06, Japan Times)

The government submitted a bill to the Diet Friday that will revise the Fundamental Law of Education for the first time since its enactment in 1947 to include fostering "patriotism."

Drafted during the Allied Occupation, the present law does not mention patriotism because the word was associated with Japan's wartime totalitarianism and militarism, according to scholars.

Conservative politicians have long sought to emphasize the concept in school curricula, but Japan "has been sensitive about patriotism, mainly due to memories of the (totalitarian) education before and during the war," said Hidenori Fujita, a professor at International Christian University in Tokyo.

"Patriotism" as stipulated in the bill, however, goes beyond the usual definition of love, loyalty and zealous support of a nation, by requiring people to cultivate "an attitude that respects tradition and culture, loves the nation and homeland that have fostered them, while respecting other countries and contributing to international peace and development."

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 29, 2006 7:59 AM

Thanks for the head's up, OJ. I had no problem with the national anthem being translated into Spanish, but changing the words? And look at how they changed them! Man, how long are the commies going to bedevil us?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at April 29, 2006 11:08 AM

Rantburg has this:

#12 (Mexican national anthem in English)
(sounds like something written by a Jihadi)

Mexicans, at the cry of battle
prepare your swords and bridle;
and let the earth tremble at its center
at the roar of the cannon.

Oh fatherland
Your forehead shall be girded with olive garlands,
by the divine archangel of peace
For in heaven your eternal destiny
has been written by the hand of God.

But should a foreign enemy dare to
profane your land with his sole,
Think, beloved fatherland, that heaven
gave you a soldier in each son.

War, war without truce against who would attempt
to blemish the honor of the fatherland!

War, war! The patriotic banners
drench in waves of blood.

War, war! On the mount, in the valley
The terrifying thunder of the cannon

And the echoes nobly resound to the cries of Union! Liberty!

Fatherland, before your children

Become unarmed
Beneath the yoke their necks in sway,

And your countryside be watered with blood,
On blood their feet trample.

And may your temples, palaces and towers
crumble in horrid crash, and ruins remain
saying: The fatherland was made of one thousand heroes.

Fatherland, fatherland, your children swear
to exhale their breath in your cause,
If the bugle in its belligerent tone
should call upon them to struggle with bravery.

For you the olive garlands!

For them a memory of glory!

For you a laurel of victory!

For them a tomb of honor!

Posted by: Sandy P at April 29, 2006 1:00 PM

I don't see the assimilation-of-immigrants impetus factoring very strongly in the Japan Times story. It rather suggests the lawmakers were motivated by concern for apathy to "Japaneseness" on the part of young native Japanese and teachers who perhaps came of age in the 70's and 80's. You have posted stories in recent days that would seem more to suggest that Japan's lawmakers and public do not realize the seriousness of the demographic/fertility rate crisis they are in. As others (particularly Marc "Antony" Steyn) have pointed out in recent months, why should immigrants bother to assimilate if the natives don't even believe sincerely in their own culture?

I welcome all immigrants to this country with the words, "Welcome to America." In the same conversation, I will urge them to learn English. "En este pais magnifica, nadie te va ha molestar. Nada mas tienes que trabajar fuerte, y tendras una vida maravillosa. Pero tienes que aprender ingles. Es importantisimo" Out of curiosity, how many languages are you fluent in, in addition to English? Translation is a subject that fascinates me (I have done some work in this field. May I recommend Jorge Luis Borges' lectures, "This Art of Translation.") I am fluent in Spanish (son of 1960 Cuban refugees) and I am utterly against the singing of our national anthem in any language other than English, for all the same reasons we (Americans in general and "Latin" immigrants in particular) oppose bilingual education and a couple additional ones. It's culture. It's our heritage. It's like believing you can translate the Tao Te Ching. You can't.

When Chinese people get to heaven, God has slanted eyes, amigo. Very accommodating, es El Sen~or. But until that day, immigrants must learn the local language.

Posted by: Bobby at April 29, 2006 1:05 PM

Lawmakers realize, but they're not about to tell the public, are they? Even George Bush doesn't announce that he's pro-amnesty.

Posted by: oj at April 29, 2006 1:33 PM

They should have had "Weird Al" Yankovic do it. He's good at supplying new lyrics to popular tunes. And he'd have done a better job than this.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at April 29, 2006 3:03 PM

1. Seeing as no one can sing the Star Spangled Banner anyway, the language seems like a secondary consideration; thus

2. God Bless America should be the National Anthem; and while

3. The language of government is the US is English and no accomodation should be made;

4. Lots of immigrants have done fine without speaking English.

Posted by: David Cohen at April 29, 2006 3:12 PM

Jimi Hendrix could have settled the whole thing. Tell me that version wasn't in English.

These illegals are shooting themselves in the collective foot.

Call their version the "the Red-star New-fangled Scammer"

Posted by: Star Spangled Banner at April 30, 2006 12:04 AM