Willie Nelson is arguably the greatest American songwriter in history, and his image alone is as American as Ford, Chevy and the Rocky Mountains. He has written some of the greatest songs off all-time, and should be appointed to write a new National Anthem.
The Star-Spangled Banner has been the official anthem of the United States since President Herbert Hoover signed the congressional resolution in 1931. The original lyrics to the anthem were penned by the poet, Francis Scott Key following the attack of the British at Forth Henry in 1814. More than a hundred years later, music was added and Hoover ordered the playing of the anthem at military and special events.
The current rendition of the National Anthem has been nothing short of spectacular, as thousands of musicians have sung the tune at the beginning of sporting events and special occasions. It is a moment when a nation stands still, comes together and pays respect to their country, and to the people who serve their country. It is a moment that can bring people to tears and miraculously lead to thousands of people singing in unison. It is a great song, beautifully written and powerful to all United States citizens, but it is time that it receives a makeover.
Willie Nelson has written some of the most beautiful lyrics of all-time, including songs like Crazy and Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. His long braids, American flag headband and twangy voice have made him one of the greatest of American icons. His picture-painting lyrics would make him the perfect choice for writing a more modern, soul-filled hymn that would be fresh and exciting. He should be the new voice, or at the very least his words should grace the pages of a new anthem.
Nelson, who turns 81-years-old this week continues touring nearly non-stop throughout the year, cutting across the plains, diving deep into the south, and motoring along the eastern and western shorelines in his touring bus. He does not appear to be cutting back too much on tour dates, but as he continues to age so gracefully, it is time to give him one of the greatest tasks and honors that a musician can receive. It is time for the President of the United States to commission Willie Nelson to write the new National Anthem.
Just as Francis Key Scott was a great poet in his own right during his time, Nelson is a modern-age poet and is as recognizable in American culture as anybody in the modern age. Whether or not people agree with his politics, like or dislike his music, or know very little about the man, it is certain that just about everybody knows the name, the face and the songs. Willie Nelson should be the modern voice of America, write a new National Anthem that touches the soul of the citizens of the United States of America and give them new words that can be performed by some of the greatest vocalists in the world.
Opinion by Johnny Caito