You might remember nu-metal balladeers Staind as The Worst Band In The World circa like 2001, a title they achieved thanks to their 5x Platinum third album, Break The Cycle, and its inescapable single, “It’s Been Awhile,” itself a strong contender for The Worst Song Of The Millennium. But did you know Staind frontman Aaron Lewis is now also a successful mainstream country musician, much like Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish (coincidentally holders of the title The Worst Band In The World circa like 1994)? Well, you would’ve known if you’d been watching Game 5 of the World Series last night, and/or happened to catch Lewis singing the National Anthem before the game at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. You’d also probably know that Lewis botched the words to the Anthem, replacing “at the twilight’s last gleaming” with “were so gallantly streaming.” Here, watch:
In Lewis’ defense, that seems like a pretty understandable mistake: lotta pressure out there, and it’s easy to misplace a phrase or two. But Lewis might disagree! At a 2011 concert in Westbury, Long Island, Lewis lambasted Christina Aguilera for screwing up the National Anthem at Super Bowl XLV. Aguilera botched the song’s fourth line; what should have been “O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming,” was changed to, “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.” In response, Lewis said:
“I don’t understand how people who sing the National Anthem can be so fucking self-absorbed, and try to change that fucking song. If there’s a single song in the history of this country that deserves no creative interpretation, it’s that one.”
I maintain that it’s an honest mistake! Gleaming/streaming/reaming. Anyone could screw it up! I know I would. But I’ll understand, too, if Lewis feels that it’s simply not forgivable and decides to abandon his career in music. You can watch Lewis laying down the smack, too.