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Inauguration Day truths: Beyoncé, Michelle Obama's new bangs & awkward Republicans rule

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Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, inauguration, January 2013
It's official: Barack Obama's second term kicks off this week. Photo by © Alex Wong/Getty Images
Beyonce, singing, inauguration, January 2013
Bayou City native brought the ceremonies home with an impressive rendition of the national anthem. Photo by © Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, inauguration, January 2013
Beyonce, singing, inauguration, January 2013

For all its pomp and circumstance, Inauguration Day is usually a bit of a snooze fest. There are the oaths and the military bands and the invocations . . . all topped off with a typically bland address from the president, who proceeds to spend 15 to 20 minutes discussing what may or may not happen in the next four years.

The 2009 Inauguration was one of the great exceptions, of course, as Barack Obama took the oath of office to become the nation's first African-American president. Remember Aretha Franklin? Remember Yo-Yo Ma?

While Monday's ceremony could never match the excitement of its predecessor, there were still some notable moments. Here's the rundown.

The Address

Obama's 19-minute speech marked a slight return to his progressive roots, as he threw his public support behind gay marriage rights and climate change initiatives. Interestingly, while he mentioned the recent Newtown shootings, the President said the phrase "gun control" exactly zero times, according to the Washington Post's by-the-numbers look at the address.

The Hair

While watching politicos take their seats is torturous for live broadcasters, it did offer an opportunity for announcers to discuss one of the week's biggest developments — Michelle Obama's bangs.

The Tweets

According to the Huffington Post's live blog of the event, Twitter logged more than a million Inaugural-tagged tweets during the ceremony. Here are two faves. 

From NBC correspondent Peter Alexander: Mitt & Ann Romney in La Jolla, CA today. Asked if he'll be watching #Inaug2013, fmr aide tells me: 'Doubtful.'

From Huff Post blogger Robert Egger: Newt & Callista next to Jay-Z & Beyonce. I love Inauguration Day!! [twitpic]

The Music

James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson gave us two of the sleepiest patriotic songs ever performed with lullaby-like renditions of "America, the Beautiful" and "My Country, Tis' of Thee."

But thanks to Houston's own Beyoncé Knowles, America got an absolutely show-stopping rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." Watch below:

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