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Star Spangled Banner

>> Monday, July 4, 2011

Taken from the Omaha World Herald -

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was penned in 1814, rather famously, by Francis Scott Key, who was so moved after watching the huge U.S. flag at Fort McHenry survive a night of heavy British bombardment that he felt compelled to tell everyone a story of broad stripes and bright stars. There is a good chance you knew that. But do you know that the song wasn't officially adopted as our national anthem until an act of Congress in 1931? And did you know that our anthem actually has four verses? The first should be familiar — it's what we hear on patriotic holidays and before sporting events. The other three? Well, we did say that Key was inspired, didn't we?

Today we mark the song's 80th anniversary as our official anthem by bringing you all four verses.

Watch video of a special, star-spangled performance — all four verses — by Senior Master Sgt. Jimmy Weber, who sings and plays guitar in the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band. Follow along with the lyrics below. Enjoy. "

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 thru 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 in 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 of their foul footsteps' pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight and 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 home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory 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.

God Bless this Great Nation!


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