I contend that the new national anthem for the United States should be "A Change is Gonna Come" written by Sam Cooke. It is a song that epitomizes America better than any other.
The song symbolizes American positivity, "It's been a long time coming, but I know a change gon' come. Oh, yes it will." It shows our pride in humble beginnings with the line "I was born by the river in a little tent." Our fear of death is mentioned in the song, "It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die because I don't know what's up there beyond the sky."
The song also describes America's history of oppression and persecution, "I go to the movie and I go downtown. Somebody keep telling me, 'Don't hang around.'" Our rugged individualism is represented, "I go to my brother and I say, 'Brother, help me please.' But he winds up knocking me back down on my knees."
The song does not represent only the good of America, but expresses a true depiction of the country. As the "greatest country on Earth" we should be secure enough to have a song that truly represents us as a nation.
Besides, the "Star-Spangled Banner" is merely the best verse of a rather bad poem. Its lyrics are quite inane. It was written during a war in which we lost. The Sousa tune is nice, but Key's words are unbecoming of a national anthem.