One hundred and ninety three days ago yesterday, Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner to the tune of an English drinking song. Do you know all the verses?

O 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 free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home 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 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!

3 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // September 14, 2007 at 11:29 AM  

    Bravo, Sherry, for having the balls to post all of the National Anthem! We could well use a backward glance at our founding fathers and out roots, say I, an enormous fan of early American history.

  2. Mary Marvella // September 15, 2007 at 7:16 PM  

    Love it! I love the feeling of hearing or singing the song. I still believe in saluting the American flag saying the pledge of allegiance and "one nation under God," too.

    I only know the first verse but the rest says so much!

    Mary, an old bird who remembers!

  3. Joanne // September 19, 2007 at 12:40 PM  

    Sherry,
    I am a musician. It's a pleasure to see all the words (not just the first verse) of our National Anthem.