World Series 2022: Black Pumas singer Eric Burton blunders lyrics to national anthem
By now, the National Anthem has been sung almost as well as its lyrics: “Land of the Free, home of the brave.”
“It’s one verse, one chorus and one chorus,” says Eric Burton, singer for the San Francisco Pumas. By now, the National Anthem has been sung almost as well as its lyrics: “Land of the Free, home of the brave.”
In this city of sports and music, there’s always at least one place where a song gets sung, sung, sung. This is where the San Francisco Pumas take the stage to sing one of their most enduring musical numbers: “The Black Puma Song.”
It’s an apt title. The San Francisco Pumas are one of the team’s original Black Pumas, a racial group originally composed of African-Americans who had fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Like their namesake, the Pumas are a fierce band of brothers playing in San Francisco’s Mission District at some of their most notable concerts.
That they decided to add a song about a black man to the band’s repertoire came as a revelation to Burton. While making a point to sing the song as a tribute to the legacy of the Pumas — a legacy he’s carried on from the streets of the Mission District to the national stage — he stumbled on the lyrics, which went as follows:
“You got that money can buy but the real gold, the real gold is the love you give.”
The song’s message about money was especially meaningful to the guitarist, who has seen the value of the Pumas’s music, and his own, rise. After a stint in which he struggled to make ends meet, he opened his first record store. Today, he’s one of the most recognized faces in the city’s black music scene.
But here, the Pumas made a mistake. Not in the least.