The US Space Force, the new branch of the US military, unveiled its new official anthem on Tuesday. It got “less than stellar critical response”, The Guardian impassive.
“The song, ‘Semper Supra’ (‘Always Above’), joins the ranks of ‘The Marine’s Hymn’, ‘The Army Goes Rolling Along’, and other staples of the American military anthem repertoire. It is also… Wait. Why are you laughing?” Michael Andor Brodeur writes to The Washington Post. “Example: My dad called this morning and asked me what I was up to. I told him I was writing about how the Space Force releases their official song. His response: ‘Who wrote it? Buck Rogers and Hammerstein?” And we laughed and laughed.”
Still, before you scoff at lyrics like “the verbal version of bad Air Force paint,” compare it to the Mel Brooks parody song “Jews in Space”, or to suggest “a marketing consultancy wrote these lyrics and an AI trained on John Philip Sousa provided the sheet music”, remember writing anthems is a tricky job, and real people wrote this one – Sean Nelson of the US Coast Guard Band and lyricist Jamie Teachenor of the US Air Force Band. The Space Force even featured them in a behind-the-scenes video.
Perhaps we wanted the music to be a bit more cosmic, an anthem “to capture the boundless wonder of space”, writes Brodeur, but “closer listening helped me to accept that anthems are not not just the music I’m complaining about”. nor “jingles designed to inject a quick shot of pump into stilted military circumstances”. At best, he adds, “Anthems are small, battle-tested vessels of memory — tough enough to hold heavy histories of service and portable enough to carry them through generations with the ease of an air.”
Well, this anthem is “just not good”, and it’s just the latest “parody” of Space Force, writes Sarah Jones on New York. “Guardians is a dumb name. The uniforms look weird. The logo is tearing star trek“Yet, ‘there are living Guardians of Space Force doing real, if somewhat mysterious things’, and ‘angry emails informing me that Space Force has serious tasks’, it adds. “Anyway, good luck to our Guardians. Hopefully the aliens aren’t critics, but it’s a cruel galaxy out there.”
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