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US National Anthem

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History:

It was the valiant defense of Fort McHenry by American forces during the British attack on September 13, 1814 that inspired 35-year old, poet-lawyer Francis Scott Key to write the poem which was to become our national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The poem was written to match the meter of the English song, "To Anacreon in Heaven." In 1931 the Congress of The United States of America enacted legislation that made "The Star-Spangled Banner" the official national anthem.

Lyrics

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 & 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

The rest of the poem
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 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 shall 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 home, and the wars 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

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First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016