Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' 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 thro' 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 on 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 wash'd 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 lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause 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!

During the War of 1812, Key, accompanied by the American Prisoner Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant, as the guests of three British officers: Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane, Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, and Major General Robert Ross. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, one being Dr. William Beanes. Beanes was a resident of Upper Marlboro, Maryland and had been captured by the British after he placed rowdy stragglers under citizen's arrest with a group of men. Skinner, Key, and Beanes were not allowed to return to their own sloop, they had become familiar with the strength and position of the British units and with the British intent to attack Baltimore. As a result of this, Key was unable to do anything but watch the bombarding of the American forces at Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore on the night of September 13–September 14, 1814.
When the smoke cleared, Key was able to see an American flag still waving and reported this to the prisoners below deck. On the way back to Baltimore, he was inspired to write a poem describing his experience, "The Defence of Fort McHenry", which he published in the Patriot on September 20, 1814. He intended to fit the rhythms of composer John Stafford Smith's "To Anacreon in Heaven". It has become better known as "The Star Spangled Banner". Under this name, the song was adopted as the American national anthem, first by an Executive Order from President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 (which had little effect beyond requiring military bands to play it) and then by a Congressional resolution in 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover.
In the fourth stanza Key urged the adoption of "In God is our Trust" as the national motto.The United States adopted the motto "In God We Trust" by law in 1956.
source Wikipedia

The flag that inspired our national anthem, today hangs in the Smithsonian

Summer Sundays at The Tablescaper


  1. What a wonderful post in celebration of the 4th!

    Thanks also for joining "Summer Sundays".

    - The Tablescaper

  2. How many people can say they can actually sing the Star Spangled Banner? Happy 4th of July.

  3. A beautifully patriotic post!!! All the words and how few of know very many of them...
    Happy 4th of July!

  4. Nancy, thank you for sharing this today. The story of our flag and the Star Spangled Banner are truly beautiful and inspiring.
    Happy 4th of July! ~ Sarah

  5. Great picture of that immense flag! Pretty cool! Thanks for sharing! Happy 4th of July ! Jacqueline

  6. Happy 4th to you from your Canadian Neighbour! Lovely post!

  7. Happy (belated) 4th July, Nancy.
    Love this post!

  8. Having seen this flag in person, it is awe-inspiring. God Bless America (land that I love!).


I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.