Our difficult national anthem
One thing we know for certain about the playing of the national anthem at sports events is that few people sing along, even if their lips appear to be moving. “The Star Spangled Banner” has a challenging melody that spans nearly an octave and a half — beyond singing range for most untrained voices.
The lyrics are written in an archaic style and are difficult to understand. Surveys have shown that only about 40 percent of U.S. citizens claim to know the words but most of those people can’t actually get past “whose broad stripes and bright stars.”
Since the lyrics are so poorly known, it’s likely that, appearances aside, the people standing around you at Lambeau Field, Miller Park or elsewhere have not been paying rapt attention to our national anthem.