‘Black national anthem’ surprises Denver audience | VailDaily.com

‘Black national anthem’ surprises Denver audience

DENVER, Colorado ” A performer caused a stir in Denver by singing the words to a tune known as the black national anthem when she was expected to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Denver jazz singer Rene Marie sang the lyrics of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” to the tune of the national anthem. It happened Tuesday before hundreds of people gathered to hear Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s annual State of the City speech.

The lyrics include, “Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.”

Hickenlooper says he didn’t know of Marie’s plans in advance.

Marie says artists don’t have to ask for permission to express themselves.

City Councilman Charlie Brown says Marie should have stuck to the original words.

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