If he was alive, the composer behind "God Bless America," Irving Berlin, would likely have been disappointed by the president's performance on Tuesday. After all, it seems like President Donald Trump doesn't know the lyrics to "God Bless America" — at least when you watch the video clip BuzzFeed editor David Mack shared on Twitter. The president seemed to be head-bobbing at parts, half-singing the song, as military officials bellowed out the words to "God Bless America" at the White House's "Celebration of America" event.
It's a curious spectacle and one that may force some to think whether Trump is the stringent patriot he likes to present himself as. In the Fox News clip that Mack shared, military officials can be seen singing:
God bless America; land and that I love; stand beside her; and guide her; through the night with the light from above.
But while military officials sing the song through, Trump is bobbing his head as if it were a techno beat. He looks from his left to his right all the while he bounces his head lightly to the officials singing. There are a few seconds where Trump sings a bit and that was during the part where Berlin's song goes, "From the mountains to the prairies." But that's pretty much it.
Soon after the "prairies" bit is over, the president ceases mouthing the lyrics while the military officials finish the song off with, "To the oceans; white with foam" and a thunderous repetition of the last line, "God bless America, my home sweet home."
It didn't take too long for others to notice that the president was seemingly struggling with the lyrics. Comedy Central's The Daily Show tweeted the video and joked, "When you know the lyrics to God Bless America."
Sports analysis website Deadspin gave a scathing take on Trump's performance of "God Bless America" and said, "Trump unable to remember words to 'God Bless America' at replacement event he commissioned to prove his patriotism."
Others took a moment to slam Trump for his strongly-worded support for standing during the American national anthem. Last year, in October, Trump indirectly referred to former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as a "son of b*tch" for not standing during the anthem as symbolic gesture against police brutality.
In 2016, Kaepernick told media about his protest, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." He added, "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
The president's struggle to sing of "God Bless America" arrives on the same day that the Philadelphia Eagles were set to meet Trump in order to mark their Super Bowl victory. According to various media reports, several members of the team refused to go to the White House as a way to protest Trump's negative commentary on kneeling during the national anthem. The refusal, apparently, did not sit well with Trump who then canceled the meeting — and held this "Celebration of America" in its stead.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney lambasted president's decision to call the gathering off in a statement. Kenney said, "Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend."
For an event that the president said "will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem," his apparent knowledge of "God Bless America" seemed lackluster.