Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Star-Spangled Banner

The national anthem of the United States of America, The Star-Spangled Banner, is from a poem by Francis Scott Key entitled Defence of Fort M'Henry. Key wrote the poem in 1814, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, on Baltimore Harbor in Chesapeake Bay, by the British Royal Navy during the War of 1812. The poem was later set to the music of English composer John Stafford Smith, and renamed The Star-Spangled Banner. The poem has four stanzas, although only the first is most commonly sung today. It quickly became a very popular patriotic song. In 1889, the US Navy began officially using it in Naval ceremonies. In 1931, it was named the official National Anthem of the United States by a congressional resolution signed by President Herbert Hoover.

The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Steve the Balladeer sings the first and fourth verses of The Star-Spangled Banner:

Steve the Balladeer on the Internet


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