Aaron Lewis Screws Up Words to World Series National Anthem
As a proprietor of country music, I would like to officially blame the Staind alt-rock version of Aaron Lewis for his slurred delivery and for screwing up the words to The National Anthem Sunday night before Game 5 of the World Series, and not the “Gone Country” carpetbagger/interloper solo country music performer Aaron Lewis (though in fairness, not all of his country music sucks).
Aaron Lewis only had one task Sunday Night, ONE TASK! … before the upsurging Kansas City Royals took on the San Francisco Giants. And despite the patriotism he crammed down our throats in his first country single “Country Boy,” he couldn’t even get the dern Star Spangled Banner correct when singing at AT&T Park. “What so proudly we hailed were so gallantly streaming.”
Hey, it’s a big pressure moment; we all understand. Maybe Lewis should have taken a cue from some of his new country brethren, like Luke Bryan who got caught red handed trying to hide the words written on his hand, or Wynonna Judd, who didn’t even try to hide that she couldn’t remember what most elementary kids can recite on cue.
READ: Luke Bryan Reads National Anthem Words Off Hand at All Star Game
It would be a little easier to forgive Aaron Lewis if he hadn’t bagged on Christina Aguilera and Cyndi Lauper for screwing up The National Anthem in 2011.
“Fuck, it worked for Christina,” Lewis said in Westbury, NY on 2-20-2011. “Or was that Cyndi Lauper? I guess I just don’t understand how people who sing The National Anthem can be so fucking self-absorbed that they would try to change that fucking song.”
As many people pointed out, probably not smart to sport your “Don’t Tread On Me” tattoo so prominently on your neck, and then engage in this type of mishap. Or to write words like this to your debut country single:
Now two flags fly above my land that really sum up how I feel
One is the colors that fly high and proud
The red, the white, the blue
The other ones got a rattlesnake with a simple statement made
“Don’t tread on me” is what it says and I’ll take that to my grave
Because, this is me
I’m proud to be American and strong in my beliefs
And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again
Cause I’ve never needed government to hold my hand
And I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again
Cause my family has always fought and died to save this land
And a country boy is all I’ll ever be
I love my country, I love my guns, I love my family
I love the way it is now, and anybody that tries to change it
Has to come through me, that should be all our attitudes
’cause this is America and a country boy is good enough for me son
What do they say about glass houses?
Hey, Aaron Lewis has been a fighter for real country music, and it seems like his heart is in the right place most of the time. We all make mistakes, and so we should all forgive them. But some of us just happen to put ourselves in a position where when we do, that spotlight shines just a little more brightly.
UPDATE: Aaron Lewis has released a statement about the performance:
All I can say is I’m sorry and ask for the Nation’s forgiveness. My nerves got the best of me and I am completely torn up about what happened. America is the greatest country in the world. The Star-Spangled Banner means so much to so many, including myself. I hope everyone can understand the intensity of the situation and my true intent of this performance. I hope that the Nation, Major League Baseball and the many fans of our national pastime can forgive me.
October 26, 2014 @ 6:02 pm
Hey, look at me….I write a blog and have nothing to write about so I criticize Aaron Lewis for no good reason. Go sing the national anthemn in front of millions of people and see if it’s easy to rembwr all the words.
He criticized other people for changing the melody and arrangement, not for forgetting the words. Get a clue.
October 26, 2014 @ 6:08 pm
Actually, I’m slammed with stuff to write about, but thanks for the concern.
And I didn’t criticize him for “no good reason.” See above.
October 27, 2014 @ 3:58 am
As the other guy said, he dissed Aguilera for changing the arrangement of the national anthem, not forgetting the words. There’s really no irony here.
October 27, 2014 @ 7:32 am
He also criticizes Cyndi Lauper, who messed up The National Anthem in 2011. That case was not just a re-interpretation. I’m not glossing over the point. I understand there is a difference between what Christina and Aaron Lewis did. But all three of them screwed up, and it was The National Anthem they all screwed up on. We can’t lose sight of that point either.
Aaron has apologized. I’ve forgiven him as we probably all should. It’s all water under the bridge at this point in my opinion.
October 26, 2014 @ 7:51 pm
It’s not like he is a 13 year old kid up there this guy has sang in front of thousands of people before lol! I have two questions for this guy 1. Could you pass a drug test? 2. At what point did you realize you messed up? It’s not like I hate the guy, it’s just really funny, we have all heard the national anthem a thousand times. And Why are you defensive? Lol should I feel sorry for this guy? Why do I have to excuse him? Oh yea and did he still get paid??
October 27, 2014 @ 3:55 am
I’m no Lweis apologist. I’m more disappointed with how this site is critical about things that don’t help it’s cause, namely “saving country music”. I came here a while back hoping to find an outlet that would be effective in changing the trajectory of the country music genre. I was wrong. I’m moving on.
October 27, 2014 @ 4:06 am
You haven’t been paying attention then. We won’t miss ya
October 27, 2014 @ 7:03 am
October 27, 2014 @ 7:41 am
I came here a while back hoping to find an outlet that would be effective in changing the trajectory of the country music genre.
This story doesn’t affect the trajectory of Saving Country Music, its mission, or its effectiveness in the marketplace in trying to change country music for the better. Yes, we have the entire country music radio format splitting, classic artists charting like never before, new independent acts like Sturgill Simpson getting launched … but all of that is irrelevant because you’re an Arron Lewis fan and were offended by this stupid post. I’m not saying Saving Country Music is personally responsible for all of these positive changes in country music, but let’s not lose sight of the big picture. I criticized Luke Bryan and Wynonna Judd for similar things. How fair would it have been for me to give Aaron Lewis a pass?
And let’s all appreciate that The Associated Press, the leading objective news organization in the country, ran a story about this as well. It was worth remarking on, just like now it is now worth accepting Arron’s apology, and moving on.
October 27, 2014 @ 9:30 am
Oh my.How will this site survive without “BOUDIN”?
You better take this piece down and apologize Trig.
October 26, 2014 @ 8:39 pm
“rembwr” – your keyboarded must be Lewising!
October 26, 2014 @ 8:55 pm
” Go sing the national anthemn in front of millions of people and see if it”™s easy to rembwr all the words. ”
You’d think someone as seasoned as Lewis, who has been performing in front of audiences for years, would have no trouble “remembering the words” to the National Anthem.
October 27, 2014 @ 5:12 am
What a dumb A $ $ you are “Boudin”. The “story” isn’t that someone made a mistake. The story is a so called “professional” singer couldn’t even get the lyrics right to America’s most important song. Getting the lyrics and melody right is what separates the music industry professionals from the amateurs. Amateurs sometimes pose as “pros”. This guy is a poser. Looks like you can relate; albeit on an even more amateurish level.
October 27, 2014 @ 12:35 pm
Despite what anyone said about Has-been pop stars and their “take” on our nation’s anthem, it is embarrassing for a “professional” musician who claims to be so damn proud of being ‘Merican to not know the national fucking anthem. It really only proves how empty and substanceless some of his music is.
October 27, 2014 @ 1:15 pm
Maybe it’s just me, but I’d say mumble-singing the National Anthem like your girlfriend just broke up with you and you’re now having a quaalude-induced stroke is a PERFECT example of taking liberties/artistic interpretation.
Just because you’re partial to HIS style doesn’t make his version any less stylized than Christina Aguilera’s version. Unless you’re out there singing it like Renee Rancourt, you’re not really doing it the way it was supposed to be done (the modern arrangement was created by, amongst others, John Philip Sousa for chrissakes).
October 26, 2014 @ 6:03 pm
The guy with the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ tattoo on his NECK usually has his heart in the right place? The guy who says anyone who would like anything to be different in his country will have to “go through” him? The guy who decided to man up to Cyndi Lauper and Christina Aguilera for singing a song? The good old “Country Boy” born in Vermont and raised in Massachusetts? Yeah, forgive me if I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt about anything.
October 26, 2014 @ 6:50 pm
as brantley gilbert said “country must be country wide”
mentioning brantley gilbert on this website probably isnt the smartest, but i do agree with him on that line. whichever state youre in i think there are ‘country’ parts
October 27, 2014 @ 6:38 am
I grew up in northern california on a bit of land, surrounded by forests, my closest neighbor had a 200yd range in his backyard and I grew up running around in the woods, or catching frogs down a the lake…you never know where you’re gonna find that kind of lifestyle, it really is all over.
October 27, 2014 @ 8:03 am
Eli – I grew up near Aaron. I watched him playing in local bars for years before he made it. He did NOT grow up in a country setting. AT ALL. No big forests, no corn fields. All suburban. I was so excited when Staind made it, such raw sounding rock. And then Aaron goes country and all Tea Party. I can’t stand him any more and would certainly never pay to see him again.
October 26, 2014 @ 7:14 pm
Vermont is quite legitimately country. Population-wise, it is the most rural state in America.
Many of the outer suburban areas in the Northeast also feel quite country. Visiting from California (especially here in the Silicon Valley where just a shack costs over 500k), the amount of yardage that each lot contains in those Northeastern suburbs can seem quite striking.
October 26, 2014 @ 7:49 pm
Plenty of country in, both, Massachusetts and Vermont. You should check it out. Not all ‘burbs.” Go explore!
October 26, 2014 @ 7:57 pm
I should’ve thought better about the Mass and VT remark.. I stand corrected. I do stand behind everything else I stated though,
October 27, 2014 @ 5:45 am
I know where he’s from — he’s from a town called Longmeadow, which is all burbs. It’s not exactly the sticks. If his neck is red, it got that way in a tanning booth.
October 26, 2014 @ 8:34 pm
I’m shocked he was asked to sign the national anthem at the WS! I initially thought this happened at a minor league ballpark in Ohio this past summer. What? Where Kevin Federline or Raven Symore busy.
October 26, 2014 @ 9:22 pm
I know that you have nothing better to do than to criticize another. I know Aaron personally and I know that he NEVER would have done that intentionally. I am sure that he was nervous and SHIT happens. He is an honorable person who loves our military and goes above and beyond to stand for them. He also loves America and what we use to stand for. Instead of criticizing him, put yourself in his shoes. He made a mistake ~ Let the first one without mistakes cast the first stone !!!! I love him just as much as I ever did and I will stand up for him. None of you running your mouth on here would have even been asked to sing the National Anthem at a World Series Game. I know he will be sorry for this forever! Live in the Here and Now and forgive him and live your life. WTF
October 26, 2014 @ 9:44 pm
I agree with you we should forgive him, I said as much in this article, and I already have forgiven him and moved on. It was an interesting, ironic, and somewhat humorous moment. We reveled in it for a little bit, and now it is time to worry about more important things.
October 30, 2014 @ 4:38 pm
I’m in agreement with Trigger. Aaron wasn’t right in making fun of Christina Aguilera when she messed up the lyrics (and him making fun if Aguilera is on YouTube), but karma came back to bite him in the ass in the end. He’s apologized for his mistake and it is time to move on. There are more important issues going on in the world of country music.
October 26, 2014 @ 10:09 pm
The town that he lives in is as country as it gets. My daughter went to school with his. I lived on 30 acres of woods in the middle of nowhere at the time, it is VERY rural.
October 27, 2014 @ 4:21 am
There is a lot more to being country than living in a rural area. And owning a gun and drinking beer doesn’t qualify one as being “country” either. Forgive me if I don’t buy this “country boy” crap most of these lame artists try to sell.
October 27, 2014 @ 7:56 am
Since your the expert tell us all the requirements of what it means to be country.
October 26, 2014 @ 10:33 pm
I don’t really care about Aaron Lewis him blowing the words to the Star Spangled Banner.
It’s the other clip that I’m offended by. The guy calls our National Anthem “that fucking song.” What a shockingly disgusting and blasphemous thing to say. I don’t know much about the guy but he sounds like a real America hater.
I think it’s deeply offensive that the San Francisco Giants and MLB would invite someone who speaks with such contempt about our national symbols to sing the National Anthem at the World Series.
I’m not surprised that the creep does not even know the words to the song.
I’m definitely going to boycott his music.
October 27, 2014 @ 4:41 am
Let me see. You’re going to boycot an artist you never knew?? Lol. You can’t boycot something you were never going to buy in the first place. Lol.
October 27, 2014 @ 4:38 pm
Maybe I needed to put lol at the end of my initial comment.
October 27, 2014 @ 5:49 am
What are you even talking about
October 27, 2014 @ 6:05 am
Given that I’ve seen you occasionally rail against the “easily offended,” I”m guessing this is sarcasm. Am I right?
October 27, 2014 @ 8:09 am
I’m having fun with it.
When somebody bleats at someone else: “Show some fucking respect for the fucking anthem” or some such thing, it’s a pretty good giveaway that the speaker does not really have love and reverence for the Anthem, but rather that he just hates the other person for their politics and wants to attack them for that.
No one who is truly moved by the Star Spangled Banner and reveres it in a patriotic way would call it “that fucking song”–as Aaron Lewis did.
October 27, 2014 @ 8:52 am
No one who is truly moved by the Star Spangled Banner and reveres it in a patriotic way would call it “that fucking song””“as Aaron Lewis did.
October 27, 2014 @ 5:10 am
Everyone seems to be losing sight of Trigger’s central point, which is this guy screwed up his only job that night. He was asked to sing a song whose lyrics were written 200 years ago, a song that has been our national anthem for 83 years. It isn’t like somebody just sprung some new lyrics on him. It is a song most of us learned in grade school. He is an experienced professional, accustomed to performing in front of large crowds. The fact that he criticized others for similar behavior is icing on the cake.
And having a “Don’t tread on me” neck tattoo only proves a) he has no taste and b) he can afford a neck tattoo.
October 27, 2014 @ 8:25 pm
It happens to the best of us .. Aaron lewis is awesome …so what we all make mistakes… I thought he did fine ..
October 28, 2014 @ 12:08 pm
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels. Mr. Lewis is one. He can write politically charged, jinogistic songs, yet cannot remember the lyrics to our national anthem.
Christina Aguilera is miles above Mr. Lewis in terms of talent.
September 21, 2015 @ 1:33 am
Who fucking cares if he made a mistake…he’s human. Ridiculous how everyone always has something to criticize the guy about! Who cares where he grew up and who cares if you lived near him…people change, they get older grow up and have a family! So just because he chooses to change music genres the whole world calls him out but nobody says anything about sucky ass Taylor Swift’s vomit of music, or how Luke Bryan didn’t suck until his “cup up” “up up” bullshit of “music” the radio stations seem to have no issue playing! I’m sure they still got paid and had #1 hits yet Aaron is just bashed for 1 line he messed up from probably being stoned and nervous but that’s him GET OVER IT! I’ve followed Staind since 95 as the angry teen and still love his music today 30years old with a family and kids of my own!!!
September 17, 2016 @ 3:55 pm
I don’t really know his music, but decided to check where is is from. He grew up in a farm town Western Mass… which is pretty damn rural. I get the southern pride, since there is plenty of south-bashing, but as a Mid-Westerner who loves this music, I get tired of the idea that geography determines authenticity. My guess is that his life growing up was more “country” than half the southerners who write about those themes. Growing up in Atlanta or Nashville doesn’t make you “country” and some of the best country music is from the Canadian plains.