Mudcat Café message #481209 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31521   Message #481209
Posted By: Joe Offer
11-Jun-01 - 08:15 PM
Thread Name: American National Anthem
Subject: ADD: Star Spangled Banner correction^^
OK, here's the correction I propose to submit to the Digital Tradition. The words of the first three verses are exactly what I found in the Army-Navy Hymnal from the Government Printing Office (give or take a contracted word spelling like heav'n), which I consider to be a fairly reliable source. I think it's quite possible that Jody's third verse was written by Key, but that it was not accepted by the U.S. Congress as part of the official national anthem. Can anybody give documented proof of the official version of the anthem, and of any other verses Key wrote?
So, who gets attribution for the tune?
-Joe Offer-
(Francis Scott Key)

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?

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 on the stream;
'Tis the star spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blessed with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserved 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!

Source: Army and Navy Hymnal, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1942.
The hymnal attributes the tune to John S. Smith, 1775.
"Heart Songs" (1909) attributes the tune to Samuel Arnold.

Our national anthem was written by Frances Scott Key during the
attack of the British on Fort McHenry, September 13, 1814. Key
had gone out from Baltimore to the British fleet to obtain the
release of a friend, held prisoner. Her arrived on the eve of
the bombardment of the city by the British, and was detained on
his own vessel lest the plans of the attack be disclosed. All
day an night he watched the battle anxiously from the deck. When
morning dawned and showed the Stars and Stripes still floating
over the fort, he was deeply moved and quickly wrote the words of
the poem. They were later set to the tune of an old English
drinking song, "Anacreon in Heaven," a song widely sung in this
country at that time.

Here is a seldom-used third verse that is reputed to have been written by Key. If this verse is used, the final (fourth) verse is the one that begins, "Oh, thus be it ever..."

Now where is the foe who so vauntingly swore,
Midst the havoc of War and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country they'd leave us no more.
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling or slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave.
And, The Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Furthermore, the last, or fourth, verse does not end with a repeat of the last two lines of the third verse. It ends thusly:

And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
WHILE the land of the free IS the home of the Brave.

Source: The Scottish Students' Song Book
Published for the Song Book Committee: of the Students'Representative councils of Scotland. by Bayley & Ferguson: 14:Paternoster: Row: London. C 1891. (that's the way it was punctuated)

filename[ STARSPAN

Click here for the Star-Spangled Banner site at the Smithsonian Institution.