Singer blames nerves for national anthem mixup

Matt Slocum/AP file photoFormer Staind frontman Aaron Lewis

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Aaron Lewis has apologized for botching the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during his performance before Game 5 of the World Series.

The lead singer of the metal band Staind turned country singer published a note on his website Monday after stumbling during his rendition of the national anthem the night before in San Francisco.

“All I can say is I'm sorry and ask for the Nation's forgiveness. My nerves got the best of me and I am completely torn up about what happened,” he wrote. “America is the greatest country in the world.

“The Star-Spangled Banner means so much to so many, including myself. I hope everyone can understand the intensity of the situation and my true intent of this performance. I hope that the Nation, Major League Baseball and the many fans of our national pastime can forgive me.”

After starting with “O say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed,” Lewis diverted from the lyrics. Instead of singing “at the twilight's last gleaming” he sang “were so gallantly streaming,” words that appear later in the song.

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