Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Francis Scott Key and Our National Anthem

Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star-Spangle Banner during the Way of 1812, had a somewhat religious background. From 1814 to 1826, he was a delegate to the general conventions of the Episcopal Church, and was the lay reader at St. John's Church in Georgetown.

Notice the words near the end of the National Anthem, which we seldom sing these days.

The Star-Spangled Banner

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 through 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 ?
On the shore, dimly seen through 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, O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave !
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the foe's desolation !
Bless with victory and peace, may our heav'n-rescused land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for 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.

Learn more about Key from Maryland, the Seventh State

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