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USA National Anthem

(For Educational Purposes)


The national anthem of the United States of America is entitled: "The Star Spangled Banner." According to the History channel website at https://www.history.com/topics/19th-century/the-star-spangled-banner:


"By the time the song officially became the country’s anthem in 1931, it had been one of America’s most popular patriotic tunes for more than a century. The anthem’s history began the morning of September 14, 1814, when an attorney and amateur poet named Francis Scott Key watched U.S. soldiers—who were under bombardment from British naval forces during the War of 1812—raise a large American flag over Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland."


"The Star Spangled Banner" song is from a poem by Francis Scott Key. The poem is listed below. Normally only one verse is sang, but the national anthem actually consists of four verses, as shown in the poem below.


According to National Public Radio at https://www.npr.org/2017/07/04/518876922/the-star-spangled-banner-verse-youve-probably-never-heard:


"Many Americans have no idea there are actually four official verses to the "Star-Spangled Banner" — and even fewer know about a little-known, unofficial fifth verse, written a half century later by poet Oliver Wendell Holmes."


According to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History website at https://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-lyrics.aspx, the words of "The Star Spangled Banner" poem by Francis Scott Key are as follows:


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 through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d 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,
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 wash’d out their foul footstep’s 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 home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power 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.


According to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History Website at https://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/francis-scott-key.aspx:


"Attorney Francis Scott Key witnessed the twenty-five hour bombardment of Fort McHenry from a British troopship anchored some four miles away. He had boarded the ship to negotiate the release of an American civilian imprisoned by the British, and had been detained aboard as the bombardment began. On September 14, 1814, as the dawn’s early light revealed a flag flying over the fort, Key exultantly began jotting down the lines of the song that became our national anthem. After the war, Key continued to practice law in the District of Columbia."


The following examples show "The Star Spangled Banner" performed by various artists.


Willa Dorsey sings the national anthem on a 1970 Lawrence Welk show. Youtube video courtesy of dwtpa90.

The Clark Sisters sing the national anthem. Youtube video courtesy of Gospel Nostalgia.

Aretha Franklin sings the national anthem on July 4. Youtube video courtesy of EmpressMahalia.

Beyonce sings the national anthem at President Barack Obama's 2013 Presidential Inauguration. Youtube video courtesy of ABC.

Marvin Gaye sings the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game. Youtube video courtesy of Mark Dury.

Nona Gaye and her late father Marvin Gaye sing the national anthem at the 2004 NBA All-Star Game. Youtube video courtesy of ClassicSoulRadio.

Whitney Houston sings the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl. Youtube video courtesy of whitneyhoustonmusic.

James Brown sings the national anthem. Youtube video courtesy of '00s Grits & Soul.

The Four Tops sing the national anthem. Youtube video courtesy of MLB.

Patti LaBelle sings the national anthem. Youtube video courtesy of QueenOldSkool.


Natalie Cole sings the national anthem. Youtube video courtesy of nataliecolelivedforlove.


The United States of America is a republic that is governed through the utilization of a democratic process. For those who are currently United States citizens and those who become United States citizens...it is important to exercise your right to vote. The Constitution of the United States of America was framed to form a more perfect union, with an amendment provision that allows it to be changed as necessary to bring about the sought after result of its initial framing. As history has demonstrated, the United States Constitution has been amended to steer the United States in the direction of a more perfect union. Voting is an important part of the continuation of steering the United States in the direction of a more perfect union. When people are elected to office who are truly committed to addressing the needs of the people of the United States...it then has the possibility of becoming a more perfect union. "The Star Spangled Banner" in its essence, is a piece that personifies the meaning of the flag of of the United States of America. The flag of the United States is the symbol of its binding ties and unification, inclusive of each state. The pledge of allegiance states that the United States is "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." This is the United States that the flag...and the Constitution with its amendment provision...represents. The United States of America has been through wars abroad, and domestically...as blood has been shed by many to steer the United States in the direction of a more perfect union. Under slavery, the United States was not heading in the direction of a more perfect union. The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order by President Abraham Lincoln, which helped steer the United States in the direction of a more perfect union. The civil war was a war that helped steer the United States in the direction of a more perfect union, through the ultimate amending of the Constitution. "The Star Spangled Banner" is a song that states the words "the land of the free." The outcome of the civil war resulted in these words becoming a reality.



References


Article Title: The Star-Spangled Banner

Author: History.com Editors

Website Name HISTORY

URL: https://www.history.com/topics/19th-century/the-star-spangled-banner

Access Date: November 4, 2018

Publisher: A&E Television Networks

Last Updated: August 21, 2018

Original Published Date: September 28, 2017


Page Title: "The Star Spangled Banner" The Flag That Inspired The National Anthem

Website: Smithsonian National Museum of American History

URL: https://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-lyrics.aspx

URL: https://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/francis-scott-key.aspx

Access Date: November 4, 2018


Article Title: The Star-Spangled Banner Verse You've Probably Never Heard

Website: National Public Radio

URL: https://www.npr.org/2017/07/04/518876922/the-star-spangled-banner-verse-youve-probably-never-heard

Access Date: November 4, 2018