The Star-Spangled Banner


The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star Spangled Banner
Defence of Fort M'Henry broadside.jpg
One of two surviving copies of the 1814 broadside printing of the "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem that later became the lyrics of the national anthem of the United States.

National anthem of
 United States

Lyrics Francis Scott Key, 1814
Music John Stafford Smith, 1780
Adopted 1931
Music sample
The Star-Spangled Banner (Instrumental)

Translations

As a result of immigration to the United States, as well as the absorption of significant numbers of Spanish-speakers in the Southwest and Puerto Rico, the lyrics of the song were translated into other languages. In 1861, it was translated into German.[23] The Library of Congress also has record of a Spanish-language version from 1919.[24] It has since been translated into Hebrew[25] and Yiddish by Jewish immigrants,[26] Latin American Spanish (with one version popularized during immigration reform protests in 2006),[27] French by Acadians of Louisiana,[28] Samoan,[29] and Irish.[30] The third verse of the anthem has also been translated into Latin.[31]

With regard to the indigenous languages of North America, there are versions in Navajo[32][33][34] and Cherokee.[35]

Performances

Crowd performing the US national anthem before a baseball game at Coors Field.

The song is notoriously difficult for nonprofessionals to sing, because of its wide range – an octave and a half. Humorist Richard Armour referred to the song's difficulty in his book It All Started With Columbus.

In an attempt to take Baltimore, the British attacked Fort McHenry, which protected the harbor. Bombs were soon bursting in air, rockets were glaring, and all in all it was a moment of great historical interest. During the bombardment, a young lawyer named Francis Off Key [sic] wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner", and when, by the dawn's early light, the British heard it sung, they fled in terror
—Richard Armour

Professional and amateur singers have been known to forget the words, which is one reason the song is sometimes pre-recorded and lip-synced.[citation needed] Other times the issue is avoided by having the performer(s) play the anthem instrumentally instead of singing it. Such situations have been lampooned in film (see below). The pre-recording of the anthem has become standard practice at some ballparks, such as Boston's Fenway Park, according to the SABR publication The Fenway Project.[36] Pop singer Christina Aguilera performed the wrong lyrics to the song prior to Super Bowl XLV, replacing the song's fourth line, "o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming," with an alteration of the second line, "what so proudly we watched at the twilight's last gleaming".[37]

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is traditionally played at the beginning of public sports events and orchestral concerts in the United States, as well as other public gatherings. Performances at particularly large events are often ended with a military flypast. The NHL requires arenas in both the U.S. and Canada to perform both the Canadian and American national anthems at games that involve teams from both countries.[38]

One especially unusual performance of the song took place on September 12, 2001, after the United States September 11 attacks: Queen Elizabeth II broke with tradition and allowed the Band of the Coldstream Guards to perform the American national anthem at Buckingham Palace, London at the ceremonial Changing of the Guard, as a gesture of support for Britain's ally.[39]

References in film, television, literature

Several films have their titles taken from the song lyrics. These include two films entitled Dawn's Early Light (2000[40] and 2005);[41] two made-for-TV features entitled By Dawn's Early Light (1990[42] and 2000);[43] two films entitled So Proudly We Hail (1943[44] and 1990);[45] a feature (1977)[46] and a short (2005)[47] entitled Twilight's Last Gleaming; and four films entitled Home of the Brave (1949,[48] 1986,[49] 2004[50] and 2006).[51]

The Isaac Asimov short story "No Refuge Could Save" takes its title from a line in the third verse. In the story, the protagonist notes that he once ferreted out a German spy during World War II because of the spy's knowledge of the third verse, which is virtually unknown by Americans.

Ken Burns' documentary Baseball consists of 9 "innings", each of which begins with a rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner that is historically appropriate for the period covered in that episode of the series.

Media

(1944)
(1940)


References

  1. ^ "The Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812". Encyclopedia Smithsonian. http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/starflag.htm. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  2. ^ "United States of America - The Star-Spangled Banner". NationalAnthems.me. http://nationalanthems.me/united-states-of-america-the-star-spangled-banner/. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  3. ^ 50th Anniversary of Our National Motto, "In God We Trust," 2006, Proclamation of George W. Bush, White House
  4. ^ "My country 'tis of thee [Song Collection"]. The Library of Congress. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200000012/default.html. Retrieved 2009-01-20. 
  5. ^ Snyder, Lois Leo (1990). Encyclopedia of Nationalism. Paragon House. p. 13. ISBN 1557781672. 
  6. ^ British Rockets at the US National Parks Service, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Retrieved February 2008.
  7. ^ "When the Warrior Returns". http://www.potw.org/archive/potw340.html. 
  8. ^ Blackburn, Robin (1988). The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776-1848. pp. 288–290. 
  9. ^ "Musical traditions in sports". CNN. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0711/music.traditions.sports/content.3.html. 
  10. ^ Bizarre Magazine Robert L. Ripley[dead link]. Published February 2006.
  11. ^ Jose Feliciano Personal account about the anthem performance
  12. ^ "Harris Interactive poll on "The Star-Spangled Banner"". Tnap.org. http://www.tnap.org/factsheet.html. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  13. ^ Francis Scott Key, The Star Spangled Banner (lyrics), 1814, MENC: The National Association for Music Education National Anthem Project. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  14. ^ Butterworth, Hezekiah; Brown, Theron (1906). The Story of the Hymns and Tunes. George H. Doran Co.. p. 335. http://books.google.com/?id=yL0MAAAAIAAJ&dq=%22When+our+land+is+illumined+with+liberty's+smile%22 
  15. ^ The soldier's companion: dedicated ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 1865. http://books.google.com/?id=9EE3pSozSX4C&pg=PA19&dq=When+our+land+is+illumined+with+liberty%27s+smile&q=When%20our%20land%20is%20illumined%20with%20liberty%27s%20smile. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  16. ^ "Library of Congress image". http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/uc05112x.jpg. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  17. ^ Duane Streufert. "A website dedicated to the Flag of the United States of America — United States Code". USFlag.org. http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html#171. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Code". Uscode.house.gov. http://uscode.house.gov/uscode-cgi/fastweb.exe?getdoc+uscview+t33t36+1643+6++%28%29%20%20A. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  19. ^ The Circle School v. Phillips, 270 F. Supp. 2d 616, 622 (E.D. Pa. 2003).
  20. ^ "Retrieved 2009-12-13". Towerwatch.com. http://www.towerwatch.com/Witnesses/Beliefs/their_beliefs.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  21. ^ Botting, Gary Norman Arthur (1993). Fundamental freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Calgary Press. p. 27. ISBN 9781895176063. http://books.google.com/?id=QGSFAAAAMAAJ&dq=national+anthem+jehovah%27s+witness. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  22. ^ Love, Charles (2005). 20 Questions Jehovah's Witnesses Cannot Answer. Xulon Press. p. 23. ISBN 9781597815079. http://books.google.com/?id=d9fxL4Noen4C&pg=PA23&dq=national+anthem+jehovah's+witness&cd=13#v=onepage&q=national%20anthem%20jehovah's%20witness. Retrieved 2009-12-13. 
  23. ^ Das Star-Spangled Banner, US Library of Congress. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  24. ^ La Bandera de las Estrellas, US Library of Congress. Retrieved May 31, 2005.
  25. ^ Hebrew Version
  26. ^ Abraham Asen, The Star Spangled Banner in Yiddish, 1943, Joe Fishstein Collection of Yiddish Poetry, McGill University Digital Collections Programme. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  27. ^ Day to Day. "A Spanish Version of 'The Star-Spangled Banner'". NPR. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5369145. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  28. ^ David Émile Marcantel, La Bannière Étoilée on Musique Acadienne. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  29. ^ Zimmer, Benjamin (2006-04-29). "The ''Samoa News'' reporting of a Samoan version". Itre.cis.upenn.edu. http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003082.html. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  30. ^ "''An Bhratach Gheal-Réaltach'' - Irish version". Daltai.com. http://www.daltai.com/padraig/USA.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  31. ^ Christopher M. Brunelle, Third Verse in Latin, 1999
  32. ^ "Gallup Independent, 25 March 2005". Gallupindependent.com. 2005-03-25. http://www.gallupindependent.com/2005/mar/032505navajo.html. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  33. ^ New Mexico Department of Veterans' Services[dead link]
  34. ^ "Schedule for the Presidential Inauguration 2007, Navajo Nation Government". Navajo.org. 2007-01-09. http://www.navajo.org/navbar/Dinner.htm. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  35. ^ "Cherokee Phoenix, Accessed 2009-08-15". Cherokeephoenix.org. http://www.cherokeephoenix.org/235/Article.aspx. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  36. ^ "The Fenway Project — Part One". Red Sox Connection. May 2004. http://www.redsoxconnection.com/fenwayproject.html. 
  37. ^ "Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl". CNN. 2011-02-06. http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/06/aguilera-flubs-national-anthem-at-super-bowl/?hpt=C2. 
  38. ^ Allen, Kevin (2003-03-23). "NHL Seeks to Stop Booing For a Song". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2003-03-23-anthem-booing_x.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  39. ^ Graves, David (14 Sep 2001) Palace breaks with tradition in musical tribute The Telegraph. Retrieved August 24, 2011
  40. ^ Dawn's Early Light (2000) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  41. ^ Dawn's Early Light (2005) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  42. ^ Dawn's Early Light TV (1990) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  43. ^ Dawn's Early Light TV (2000) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  44. ^ So Proudly We Hail (1943) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  45. ^ So Proudly We Hail (1990) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  46. ^ Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  47. ^ Twilight's Last Gleaming (2005) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  48. ^ Home of the Brave (1949) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  49. ^ Home of the Brave (1986) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  50. ^ Home of the Brave (2004) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved December 5, 2007.
  51. ^ Home of the Brave (2006) on the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 14, 2007.

External links

Historical texts

Historical audio


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