Cyndi Lauper fluffs line after line of US anthem

By Theresa Mallinson 13 September 2011

Okay, in truth it was just one line, but we couldn't resist that headline. On the weekend, US pop star Cyndi Lauper showed that it's not only South Africans who have a problem remembering the words to our national anthem. By THERESA MALLINSON.

On Saturday Cyndi Lauper was tasked with singing the Star-spangled Banner at a 9/11 memorial at the US Open. As early as the fourth line she stumbled, replacing: “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” with “O’er the ramparts we watched, as our flag was still streaming”. Granted, it’s not quite as bad a stuff up as we’re used to closer to home, but just what is it with singers the world over being unable to remember the words to their national anthems?

Apparently Lauper, like Ard Matthews before her, had a moment. On Sunday she tweeted: “Whew, I just did the anthem for the US open. It was an awesome experience.I got choked up in the middle remembering 9/11… The moon shone done on us and I tried to say a prayer at the same time… I hope I didn’t mess up too bad. I wanted it to be comforting. Xcyn”.

Watch: Cyndi Lauper flubs national anthem during US Open 9/11 memorial, on YouTube

We suggest that in the face of continuing public anthem disasters, broadcasters invest in auto cues to give over-emotional stars a hand. Or they should just stick to the failsafe method of getting a choir to sing the anthem: if one person out of several forgets the words on live TV, it’s not going to be a national embarrassment. DM

Read more:

  • Cyndi Lauper forgets words to US national anthem during 9/11 memorial, in the Guardian;
  • Ras Dumisani, The Star Mangled Banner and other Sour Notes, in the Daily Maverick;
  • Cyndi Lauper blames 9/11 memories for flubbing national anthem at US open, on E! Online.