200th Anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” – and Weekend Links

200th Anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” – and Weekend Links

From the moment the first few chords of our song is played, people rise and place their hand on their heart. Hats come off and voices are raised. Some people sing – only about 40% of us really know the words. Some people become emotional *raises hand*. Our eyes all go to the flag. Our flag. And at the end of our song, EVERYONE cheers. It’s just what we do when we hear our song, and see our flag. This weekend, we recognize the 200th Anniversary of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner”.

The words of “The Star Spangled Banner” were first written on September 14, 1814 by Francis Scott Key as a poem titled, “The Defence of Fort McHenry.” Here’s the backstory:

While helping in a prisoner trade between the British and Americans in the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and an amateur poet, was detained on a British warship while they bombed the hell out of Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. From his vantage point, he watched throughout the night as many, many British rockets battered the American position. In the morning, when the bombardment had subsided, Key saw that Fort McHenry was still flying its awesomely huge American flag which measured 42 by 30 feet. He was overcome with emotion, and began writing his poem…

handwritten star spangled bannerFrancis Scott Key’s handwritten lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner

Within a week, Francis Scott Key had his lyrics copied and handed out to every member of the defenders of Ft. McHenry. Key recommended that his poem be sung as a song to the popular British tune, “To Anacreon in Heaven.” (And yes, it’s true, that tune was a drinking song!) His poem, set to music, soon became known as “The Star Spangled Banner.”

“The Star Spangled Banner” was published in a number of newspapers at the time, but by the Civil War it had become one of the most popular patriotic songs of the United States. The anthem’s first appearance at a sporting event was at the 1918 World Series. In the late 1920s, bandleader John Philip Sousa got behind the growing movement to find a national anthem for the country, throwing his support to “Banner.” In 1931, President Herbert Hoover finally made it official – it’s our song.

Generally, I like hearing a traditional version of The Star-Spangled Banner sung. But over the years, there have been some memorable ones. Here are just a few of my favorite versions:

Awesome 4 yo Jillian Harris at Indiana Pacers Game, 2010

Meatloaf throwing it down, 1994 MLB All-Star Game

Madison Rising!

Marvin Gaye, 1983 NBA All-Star Game

Carrie Underwood, 2006 MLB All-Star Game

Whitney Houston, Super Bowl 1991

Yes, all of this for a flag and long may she wave.

Our “Weekend Links” are below the fold!

Great Weekend Blog Reading Links!

Teach at Pirate’s Cove is blogging about this…“State Dept. “Concerned” Over Russian Tanks Crossing Into Ukraine.”

The Other McCain has many good blog posts up including this one by Stacy on “Happy Lesbian Father’s Day!”

ST at Sister Toldjah has up this post on “The IRS says it has lost *two years* worth of Lerner emails. Seriously.”

Aleister at Legal Insurrection has up this post today on “Should Democrats be Worried About Running Hillary?”

V the K at Gay Patriot has up this blog post called “The Dog Ate Your Evidence.”

Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, has many great posts at his blog hub from all over the blogosphere so go check them out! And you can read Glenn’s latest article in USA Today on “Regulators wreck Uber innovation”, here.

Dana at The First Street Journal has up a great post called “The unlearned lesson.”

As always, Michelle Obama’s Mirror has up a great post called “The Regals Have Landed.”

Jammie at Jammie Wearing Fools has up this post “Finally: After Recent String of Successes, Obama Heads to Palm Springs to Unwind and Celebrate.”

This Ain’t Hell has up a lot of great posts this weekend, but I especially like this post by Jonn called “VA helps vet celebrate 101st birthday.”

Evil Blogger Lady has this post on “The Obama White House and Lois Lerner: Her IRS computer conveniently has a defective hard drive?”

Donald Douglas at American Power has up this blog post on “The Unelectable Whiteness of Scott Walker?”

Neo at Neo-Neocon is writing about “Lou Dobbs accuses Obama of purposely orchestrating the swamping of the US borders in cooperation with the governments of Central America.”

Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive has up this post, “You can’t end wars; they are won or lost.”

Ann Althouse has up a number of great posts, but I like this one – “The news of nothing.”

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air has up this post up… “Can we make every hospital a VA hospital?”

and finally, Gabriel Malor at AoSHQ has up this post on “Friday Night Culture Post.” Read the comments. 🙂

Have a terrific weekend!

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  • VALman says:

    And, we ought not ever forget who our friends are through “thick and thin”!
    9/11 American National Anthem Buckingham Palace http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwrX-LN9-L0

  • Kate says:

    I loved that and still gets me choked up. Thanks for reminding me of it VALman.

  • Eric says:

    I still remember the Whitney Houston performance at the 1991 Super Bowl. Amazing!

  • GWB says:

    I’ll unload one of my pet peeves here:
    Why the heck don’t we EVER sing the other verses?!?

    The 3rd verse, in particular, has been a favorite of mine since 9/11. I’ll reproduce it here, but a simple google search will easily take you to sites with all the verses:

    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.

    This was the attitude of many right after 9/11. But, we let it fade. We let those who think political correctness is the ultimate good keep us from saying things like this.

    Is that verse combative? Hell yes! Is our national anthem militant? Hell yes! This country was born of fire and preserved through bloodshed! We sent thousands off to die, in order to secure liberty for ourselves and deny victory to those who would attack us. I will never let their sacrifice be in vain. I *will* keep alive the other three verses of the Star-Spangled Banner.

    • Kate says:

      Is that verse combative? Hell yes! Is our national anthem militant? Hell yes! This country was born of fire and preserved through bloodshed! We sent thousands off to die, in order to secure liberty for ourselves and deny victory to those who would attack us. I will never let their sacrifice be in vain. I *will* keep alive the other three verses of the Star-Spangled Banner.

      I’ll never look look at our song in the same way again, GWB. Thank you for the lesson. 🙂

      • GWB says:

        Here is what I posted in response to someone on another blog mentioning that old canard about The Star-Spangled Banner being hard to sing:

        Considering how hard a song it is

        crankyoldlady on July 4, 2014 at 12:44 PM

        Dagnabit! It is not a hard song to sing! The tune is a friggin’ pub song! If a bunch of drunken farmers could sing it, it ain’t hard! Yes, there’s a version with lots of BS vibrato and real high notes and crap – but that’s for showboaters and divas.

        Go on, sing it for yourself! Out loud! Right now. Go on! You’ll see, it isn’t hard. Now that you’ve done it once, do it again, but with real confidence! That’s it! Yeah!

        Now that you’ve got some blood flowing and some confidence, sing the fourth verse with me:

        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.

        Singing the National Anthem isn’t any harder than freedom. There are those who will sell you a bill of goods about how hard it is to sing, and they will also try to tell you how hard freedom is:
        “Why, just look at all those poor people! What has freedom gotten them but a hard life and misery? Come on, we should all pitch in and take care of them so nobody will ever suffer again. All you have to do is give your freedom to the government and we’ll take care of it for you. Go on, it’s a lot easier than that hard thing called ‘liberty’.”

        If you want to remember the taste of freedom today, sing the Star Spangled Banner. Sing it loud and proud and to hell with whether or not you can carry a tune! Sing it because you mean it! Sing it because you love it! Sing it because it makes your heart leap for joy when you think of this incredible nation of ours! Go on, you CAN do it!

        GWB on July 4, 2014 at 1:42 PM

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