Monday, May 23, 2011

The Star Spangled Banner - American Patriotic Song (Lyrics)

The Star Spangled Banner
By Francis Scott Key 1814
John Stafford Smith
Oh, 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 thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, 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! Oh 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!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory 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!

The Star Spangled Banner
The melody of this song is that of an English drinking song, entitled ‘To Anacreon in Heaven” and written for a jovial club called “The Anacreontics” which met at the “Crown and Anchor” in the Strand, London. It was conposed between 1770 and 1775. The tune was probably written by Dr. Samuel Arnold (1739 - 1802). The zneiody was very popular in England in the 18th century. The editor has in his possession a copy of the old drinking-song published in the 18th century and also a masonic song to the same tune, dated 1802. The tune waw very well known in America tong before Key use4 it for his famous words. It was used at a banquet of the Massachusetts Charitl Fire Association, in Boston, June 1st, 1798, with words by Robert Treat Paine, (then known as”Tom” Paine) in praise of the President and entitled “Adams and Liberty”. This version became famous throughout the country. It was subsequently altered into “Jefferson and Liberty” in a. Philadelphia version. On the 25th of March, 1813, it was sung in Boston with new words in honor of the Russian victories over Napoleon, and it was probably in this guise that Key remembered itwhen writing his famous verses. The story that the melody was selected for the words by an actor named Durang (although printed iii several histories) may emphatically be denied; the tune was chosen by Francis Scott Key himself and was named in the earliest printed version in the “Baltimore American”, and in the broadside that was distributed through the city. Key had been detained with the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay during the night of the bombardment of Fort McHenry. One can imagine the anxiety with which he gazed towards Baltimore on the morning after the battle. When he saw the American flag still floating overthe fort, he was inspired to write the firatrerse of the song. He was allowed to depart that morning. O his way to Baltimore he composed the remaining verses. Immediately on his arrival in the city the verses were printed by the “Baltimore American”.

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