Oh, United States of America. 234 years old on Sunday and you don’t look a day over 233!!

Look, we all know that “The Star Spangled Banner” is a difficult song to sing. Add in the jitters you get from having to perform it live before a full stadium (usually acapella), and it’s a surprise there aren’t even MORE shitty versions of our National Anthem out there. That said, the performances that Billboard Magazine lists as the 10 worst National Anthem performances of all time are all pretty cringe-inducing. From Roseanne Barr’s crotch-grabbing send-up (which gets a pass from me because it was performed badly on purpose) to R. Kelly’s misguided belief that he could create a reimagining of the Anthem on par with Marvin Gaye’s legendary 1983 rendition, you’ll be doing a lot of wincing as you watch these clips. The version they put at #1 is so bad it literally made the hairs on my arm stand up. I’m pretty sure Francis Scott Key heard it and rolled over in his grave.

So, while you’re setting off sparklers and M-80s (make sure you don’t blow any fingers off) or enjoying hot dogs and beer, salute our flag and don’t blame me if you have to stifle a chuckle next time you put your hand over your heart because you’re remembering one of these awful performances.

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