US senator proposes bill to fine artists who alter ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’

Vaneta Becker wants to hit musicians' wallets for mangling US national anthem

A US senator has proposed a bill to fine artists who alter the lyrics of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’.

Indiana senator Vaneta Becker wants to fine musicians $25 if they deviate from the standard rendition of the US national anthem at any event sponsored by public schools and universities.

However, according to Rolling Stone, she was keen to emphasise that the penalty would only be incurred by artists who intentionally change the song, and wouldn’t be imposed upon those who accidentally get the words wrong.

She said:

It’s not like we’re going after anyone’s ability to sing. It’s more that we just want them to respect the words and the tune as it was originally intended and we normally sing it.

Previous artists to have altered ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and who would have fallen foul of Becker’s proposed bill include Aerosmith‘s Steven Tyler, who changed the line “home of the brave” to “home of the Indianapolis 500” while performing at the car race of the same name.

However, it is unknown whether instrumental versions of the track, such as Jimi Hendrix‘s famous version from Woodstock festival in 1969, would be deemed as contravening the bill if it were to be passed.