There are many things the ex-colonials do better than anyone else, yet the British ability to do pomp and circumstance is loved by tens of millions of blighty residents. Our allegiance to the Queen, who is still a fundamental part of our constitutional process, is regularly on display as the annual days of national celebration of the Monarchy and tradition roll by – year after year.
Yet for those royal subjects attending the 2015 British F1 Grand Prix, it was difficult not to feel they had somehow been transported to somewhere in Murica-land – as Alesha Dixon sang the national anthem acapella.
Murica is a big place, and most weekends there are multiple national sporting events where the star spangled banner is belted out without any accompaniment by some soulful representative of the diverse culture that is the US of A.
In stark contrast here in England, the singing of the national anthem is less frequent and more circumspect and is usually delivered with some form of musical accompaniment.
The Murican’s penchant for rumbustious versions of their national anthem delivered acapella, could be influenced by the availability of musicians. Again, here in England’s green and pleasant land, the abundance of free musical accompaniment for the most sacred of our national tunes is in abundance. Hence why an acapella offering of “God save the Queen” is a rarity.
Formula One considers itself to be the pinnacle of motorsport and the British GP race day one where the best of British is on offer. This includes the finest aerobatics team in the world – the Red Arrows who are an annual feature of the day’s proceedings – as is the display from the RAF’s latest and most impressive fighter aircraft.
Given this, the selection this year of a less than average performer of vocal gymnastics to sing the national anthem at Silverstone, was a surprise for many.
Alesha Dixon was dropped by her first record company, Polydor Records, due to poor sales of her music. Some observers also commented her shoes appeared to be from the latest range on offer at Pri-marni.
In 2008 Dixon switched to Asylum Records, an offshoot of Warner Music Group and released a second album, entitled The Alesha Show. It was certified ‘platinum’ by the BPI and spawned four mega global singles including memorable hits such as, “The boy does nothing” and “Breathe Slow” – the latter became her highest charting single and earned her a Brit Award nomination.
Other than that, Dixon has little to show for her career, other than becoming a judge on TV shows, “Strictly come dancing” and “Britain’s got talent”.
Of course, the huge hosting fee paid by Silverstone to Bernie Ecclestone may have well limited the race promoter’s ability to select from the bountiful array of top class musical talent to represent Britain at its record-breaking crowd attendance Grand Prix.
Yet viewers took to twitter to complain about Dixon’s version of “God save the Queen”. Without Royal consent, she took the liberty of changing the words from “God save the Queen” – to – “God save our Queen”, which is clearly constitutional blasphemy.
Further, Dixon apparently sang the national anthem with a ‘Murican’ accent – “Gahaad save…”, which also displeased the British twitter masses. Alesha responded in a class-less manner claiming it was performed in a ‘soul style,’ and not a ‘Murican’ impression.
There’s a difference between getting the words wrong and choosing 2 sing a particular version! Boring story, very sad! #don‘tpissonmyparade
— Alesha Dixon (@AleshaOfficial) July 5, 2015
Having shed himself of a previous ‘B’ list female gyration (vocal) expert, Hamilton should beware, he may be in the cross hairs of another.
— Alesha Dixon (@AleshaOfficial) July 5, 2015
Given potential financial constraints, someone should make the new CEO of Silverstone aware of the fact, that there are thousands of northern brass bands available for the price of a bag of chips and a beer a head – who will gladly and with pride play “God save the Queen” at the drop of the hat for the 2016 race.
Also, there is a substantial pool of up and coming opera students to accompany the assembled brass masses.
However, it may be that the cancer of CVC greed has also smitten the directors of Britain’s brass bands en masse and they are demanding way too much as an appearance fee, given the 140,000 in attendance.
If this is the case, it was mooted in the paddock late last night that it would be in some way culturally relevant to the ‘Murican’ F1 viewers, were Lewis Hamilton and Snot Dog to rap out (tastefully of course) “God save the [effing] Queen” – for the 2016 event.