was to become the USA's national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key, an American
lawyer, on this day. He had witnessed first hand the destruction wrought by British
troops at Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Originally the song
was called "Defense of Fort McHenry."
song is actually written to a tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" written
by John Stafford Smith. The tune, when sung with the original lyrics, written
by Ralph Tomlinson, or with any other popular lyrics of the day, was a well used
sobriety test in English pubs (if a drinker could sing a verse properly and on
key he was allowed to carry on drinking!)
Star-Spangled Banner was formerly confirmed as the USA's national anthem in 1916
when President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order. President Herbert Hoover
signed a Congressional act in 1931 confirming this.
to the Star Spangled Banner:
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
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
to Anacreon in Heav'n:
Anacreon in Heav'n, |
Where he sat in full glee,
A few Sons of Harmony
That he their Inspirer
And Patron would be;
When this answer
From the Jolly Old Grecian:
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
longer be mute,
I'll lend you my name
And inspire you to boot,
And besides I'll instruct you,
Like me, to intwine
The Myrtle of Venus
With Bacchus's Vine."
taken from wikipedia.