Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Fray, the National Anthem, and a Poorly Chosen Chord

The Fray

Last night my Facebook and Twitter feeds were blowing up about The Fray butchering our national anthem at the NCAA championship game. I like The Fray and they're a Christian band, so, I decided to see how they desecrated on the national anthem.

When I watched the video I thought I was going to be bombarded with complete disrespect and awfulness. I was greeted with an unconventional version of the Star Spangled Banner, but it didn't appear to be disrespectful. A drum similar to one that might have been played by a drummer boy during the revolution was beating, two acoustic guitars were harmonizing, and the singer was pretty straight forward in his interpretation of the melody.

The actual performance. Chord of dispute starts at 55 Seconds.

But then one of the chords appeared to be clashing with another chord. The harmony that The Fray intended to be beautiful actually clashed. To my barely trained ear it sounded as if one of the guitarist was (maybe) playing a major chord and the other was playing a minor of the same chord. How could something like that happen? How could they disrespect our national anthem like that? It's simple. One of the guitarist may have misplaced one finger in one chord. Or it may have been a breakdown in communication between the two guitarist. In any case I do not believe The Fray meant any disrespect. In truth, they probably thought their rendition was respectful. They are artist. They outwardly express themselves through their craft. They cared enough about the anthem to write a personal expression. People make mistakes... especially when they have one chance to do it live on the air.

If only I could be accused of misplacing one finger on a carpal tunnel inducing chord progression. I've done much worse. I've sang in one key, while playing in another, and had the band playing in another (If you don't know what that sounds like the video below will give you a good idea). I've even heard Christian Contemporary mainstay Casting Crowns play in two keys at the same time. Ouch. It was painful, but it happens, and I think we should give these guys a break.

Singing in two keys can be hilarious when done on purpose... on accident, not so much.

Christ gave me a break... a break that I definitely didn't deserve. He didn't just give me a break he took my punishment. He didn't just take my punishment. He took all of God's wrath. He didn't just take God's wrath, but He gave me the reward: Eternal life.

Whenever I hear people really ragging on someone I always think about how many times those same people doing the ragging could be humiliated for a million things they've done. The only difference is their mistakes aren't watched by millions of people, their foibles aren't written on the front of The Drudge Report, and their fame hasn't made their missteps tweet worthy.

Next time you see a national flub, be sure to thank God that all your flubs aren't broadcast for the world to see. Thank God that He gave you a chance for forgiveness when you didn't deserve it. And btdubs, give The Fray a chance for forgiveness... they do deserve it.

But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! Romans 5:8