4th July: Woman's impromptu rendition of 'The Star Spangled Banner' at Lincoln Memorial goes viral

Star Swain’s performance of the US national anthem brought other tourists to a halt

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Saturday 02 July 2016 12:57
Woman sings the National Anthem at the Lincoln Memorial.mp4

Whether you are taken in by Star Swain’s feigned reluctant modesty is one thing.

What is beyond doubt, is that when the 34-year-old broke into a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner in front of tourists at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, just about everyone was stunned. Since then, the performance has been uploaded to YouTube and gone viral.

Ms Swain, a former marching band trombonist and singer, was in Washington last month with her family and members of her church, when they visited the memorial to America’s 16th president.


The performance began when Ms Swain, from Tallahassee, Florida, was discussing the acoustics inside the memorial with Marcus Henderson, a minister at her church.

“I said, ‘I could break out and start singing The Star Spangled Banner,” Ms Swain told the Tallahassee Democrat.

A friend started shooting video and dared her to sing. “I’m scared,” she said.

As it was, Ms Swain completed a soaring, stunning rendition of the song, and earned the applause and admiration of other tourists.

“I was in that moment. I just closed my eyes and started singing,” she said. “Marcus was videotaping the whole time.”

The performance has received at least 15 million views on Facebook. And Ms Swain also earned herself an appearance on the US morning show Good Morning America and she has said she would like to perform at the Super Bowl.

“I’m feeling absolutely wonderful. I’m super excited,” she said.

“There have been so many wonderful comments, so many expressions of love and support that have been coming.”

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