I'm a singer, so I know the basics of singing. I know when it is appropriate to show off your voice (during Basstonian Idol at Bell-In-Hand, singing "Fallin'" by Alicia Keys, for starters), and when it is not.
During "The Star-Spangled Banner" = NOT AN APPROPRIATE TIME TO SHOW OFF YOUR VOICE.
This has bothered me for years, from my days as an ass-kicking Soprano I (I could hit the high note on the word "free" at the end, and easily), to my relatively obsure life as an open mic flunkie now (and even then, I haven't done an open mic in quite some time).
If you want to show off your voice, sing something else, somewhere else. Sing the national anthem the way it's written. It's a hard song to sing, and not for everyone's voice, but the words are beautiful, and I hate "God Bless America" so much that I must rally for the purity of this song, which is actually stirring and pretty in all the ways that "GBA" is boring and pedestrian. It's easy to sing, the lyrics aren't interesting. TS-SB might be based on an English drinking song, but you can't tell me the tune to that is easy to sing while drunk.
Apparently, "Woody Guthrie disliked the song, and wrote "This Land Is Your Land", originally titled "God Blessed America For Me", as a response to "God Bless America" ..." (via Wikipedia).
I love that! Now THAT is awesome. Woody Guthrie, sir, we're on the same damn page. Although I prefer the Canadian version of "This Land," since I somehow learned that first.
Anyway, just a rant I thought of while watching some chick singing it during the Independence Day celebration on the Esplanade. I was like, just sing it, bitch! And she of course did not. No grandstanding! Not what that song is for, damnit!
I'm getting crochety in my mid-twenties, huh?