The Star-Spangled Banner - Our National Anthem

Harold Dean Sink By Harold Dean Sink, 13th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>History

This is a look at all four verses of our national anthem. There is a snippet of history near the end about the tune and the composer of this great song.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Sure, you have sung this many times especially if you have gone to any baseball game. This is a traditional song to sing in our country for many reasons. But...Do you really know the words to it?

Have you ever been standing next to someone and hear them say something you didn't know was in the song, or heard someone say something that is not in the song? I have, and many times, too. Did you know that to become a US citizen a person has to know this song? It is true. So...Do you know all the words to it?

If not, I have taken the time to find the correct words since some people tend to take liberties with changing it up a little bit. Here is the first verse.

O 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 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.

What was that? You did not know there are more verses? Yes, there are. In fact, there are only three more verses and here they are:

On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist 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!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed 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.

Oh, thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power 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.

There is a bit of history that goes along with this song. Francis Scott Key wrote it in 1814. A revealing note about the Star-Spangled Banner is that it was not made our national anthem until March 3, 1931. The tune comes from an old English song, "To Anacreaon in Heaven."

This tune is easier to play than it is to sing since its range is an octave and a half. You need to be nearly an accomplished singer to hit all those notes even if you bring the actual notes down a bit on the musical scale.

Learning the first verse for me was an accomplishment. When I sat down to compose this article, I knew of the other verses but had to find my music score to type them down. The notes on the score show that Francis Scott Key was also an attorney as well as a poet. This is really an easy piece to play on the piano compared to many others I have played.

I am still in awe to this day when I hear a man or woman sing this song perfectly without cracking on the high notes.


National Anthem, Song, Star-Spangled Banner, Usa

Meet the author

author avatar Harold Dean Sink
I do not feel that I am a professional writer, per say, but I do my best to get my point across to others. I am more of an artist, and hope in the end that will be all that I do. For now, this is me

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?