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National Anthem (Star Spangled Banner)

The Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from a poem written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy during the War of 1812. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London.

The poem was originally titled "The Defence of Fort M'Henry" and was published in a Baltimore newspaper on September 20, 1814. The poem quickly became popular and was soon set to music. The first public performance of The Star-Spangled Banner was on October 14, 1814, at a concert in Baltimore.

The Star-Spangled Banner was officially adopted as the national anthem of the United States by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931. The anthem is sung at many important events in American life, including sporting events, presidential inaugurations, and military ceremonies.

The Star-Spangled Banner is a challenging song to sing, with a wide range and a complex melody. The song is also known for its stirring lyrics, which evoke a sense of patriotism and national pride.

The Poem

The poem that became The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), a lawyer and amateur poet. Key was in Baltimore on September 13, 1814, when he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships. The fort was defended by American troops, and Key was concerned about the outcome of the battle.

Key was allowed to board a British ship to negotiate the release of a prisoner. As he watched the bombardment from the ship, he was inspired to write a poem about the American flag. The poem was completed the following morning, after the British ships had withdrawn.

The poem has four stanzas, but only the first is commonly sung today. The first stanza begins with the famous line "O say can you see by the dawn's early light," and ends with the words "And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave."

The Music

The music for The Star-Spangled Banner is based on a popular British song called "To Anacreon in Heaven." The song was written by John Stafford Smith (1750-1836), a composer and music publisher. "To Anacreon in Heaven" was the anthem of the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London.

The tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" is a drinking song, but it was adapted to the lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner with great success. The song has a stirring melody and a powerful message, and it has become one of the most beloved patriotic songs in the world.

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