Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Star Spangled Banner

Okay, so you know the words; you hear it or sing it at sports events BUT do you really know what it means?

This is a story every American should hear.  It's the story of how our national anthem came to be.  It's only about twelve minutes long but I'm sure you will find it worthy of your time.  Save this so you can review it from time to time.  Play it often for your children and grandchildren.

And there is more than one verse.  
In this video clip, a retired Marine veteran sings a very touching and heart-felt "second" verse (which is really the fourth verse).

Here is the full text as written by 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 thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
     And the rocket’s 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 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 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!

After you listen to the story of this great anthem, you might want to listen to one of the greatest renditions of this song ever, performed by Sandi Patty.

In this stunning version, she sings a new verse that has recently been penned by Claire Cloninger. 

In Obama's new Amerika, there is a lot of chatter about changing our national anthem.  "It's too hard to sing," they say.  "Not many people have a sufficient vocal range for it," they say.  "The words are archaic and unrelatable," they say.

If you are inclined to agree, these short videos might change your mind.  The Star-Spangled Banner is the right anthem for our freedom-loving constitutional republic.

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