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The Star Spangled Banner

A lesson about our national anthem

Brenda Williams

on 24 November 2015

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Transcript of The Star Spangled Banner

Oh, say, can you see
by the dawn's early light
what so proudly we hailed
at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars
through the perilous fight,
o'er the ramparts we watched
were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets red glare,
the bombs bursting in air
gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there.
Oh, say, does that star spangled
banner yet wave
o'er the land of the free
and the home of the brave?
The Star Spangled Banner
Lyrics by:
A British drinking song:
"To Anacreon in Heaven"
Written during the
War of 1812:
September 13, 1814
We were fighting
the British at
Fort McHenry.
Key was asked to board a British battleship to negotiate the release of an American physician, Dr. William Beanes.
Key was successful with his negotiations, but was held captive on the ship because of the possibility that he overheard plans to attach Fort McHenry. Instead, he was forced to watch the battle from the ship.
Key watched the battle intently, specifically looking for the flag flying over the fort (the "rampart"). He knew that as long as he could see the American flag flying, then we were winning the battle. If he saw the British flag flying, he would know that the battle and the fort were lost.
During the night, he could see the bombs exploding, and in the brief light, he could see the flag. As the morning light dawned, it was indeed the American flag still flying.
He was so moved when he saw the flag flying that he was inspired to write the poem that we now know as The Star Spangled Banner on the back of an envelope. Check out the incredibly creative way he describes what he saw.
The Star Spangled Banner was named our national anthem by Congress in 1931.
Children's Choir
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Gaither Vocal Band
Whitney Houston
Cactus Cuties
Riverdale Ladies Ensemble
Graduation 2009
Full transcript