Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, an illustrated song

Posted on: September 14, 2010

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15 star and stripe flag eleg sbwe 1795-1818 - Copy

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star spangled banner peter spier 2014
Star Spangled Banner, 2014 Reissue
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
Illustrated by Peter Spier

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Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE w chords
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Words by Francis Scott Key
Traditional Tune
Ukulele Chords Assembled by Emily Gleichenhaus
Drawing by Emily Gleichenhaus
To view or print this page, click here:
Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE w chords

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Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE no chords
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Words by Francis Scott Key
Traditional Tune
Ukulele Chords Assembled by Emily Gleichenhaus
Drawing by Emily Gleichenhaus
To view or print this page, click here:
Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE no chords

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THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER STORY:
The Defense of Fort McHenry, by Francis Scott Key, became our National Anthem (and Singable Illustrations of the Song)

NPR reported this morning  (09/14/2010) that Francis Scott Key wrote the poem “The Defense of Fort McHenry” this day 196 years ago, September 14, 1814.

“The Defense of Fort McHenry” is the poem Francis Scott Key wrote while stranded on a British War Ship in Baltimore Harbor, on a mission, letter in hand from President Monroe, to free his captured friend Dr. William Beanes.  Having discovered the night before that the British were planning to attack Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key and his friend Dr. William Beanes were required to wait the battle out on the British ship.  So inspired by his view of the battle from the harbor and the sight of the great American Flag which brazenly weathered the onslaught (though not undamaged), Mr. Key scribbled lines of poetry on the back of an envelope.  When he reached shore, the poem was published in the paper and soon people all over Baltimore were singing it to the tune of popular drinking song.  The song became known as “The Star Spangled Banner” and it became our National Anthem in 1931.

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A website devoted to Francis Scott Key:
http://francisscottkey.info/index.html

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Click here to see an original manuscript of Francis Scott Key’s poem “The Defense of Fort McHenry,”
http://francisscottkey.info/id6.html

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Wonderful historical article (with marvelous pictures and a fun quiz to take the earns a certificate for answering all questions correctly) about the War of 1812 and how the STAR SPANGLED BANNER became the United States National Anthem, on Smithsonian website:
http://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/

I am very proud of mine:

2014 01 22 SSB cert ELEG - Copy

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An act of friendship on the part of Mr. Key and the act of defiance on the part of that historic flag and we’ve got ourselves and inspiring (though challenging) tune with which to honor our Nation and to sing at the beginning of baseball games (and that’s the best part of any ballgame if you ask me!).

Francis Scott Key wrote four full verses to the poem.  Generally, we only sing the first, but all three verses can be sung to the familiar tune:

THE DEFENSE OF FORT MCHENRY
(also known as THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER)
Poem by Francis Scott Key

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 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, O! 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.

O! 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!

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It’s great fun to visit Fort McHenry in Baltimore and visit the very spot where the flag held forth, see the ramparts, and imagine the ships in Baltimore Harbor.

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Visit the website for the Fort McHenry National Monument:
http://www.nps.gov/fomc/index.htm


(Fort McHenry National Monument on Baltimore Harbor, Photo Credit: The Park Service)

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SMITHSONIAN STAR SPANGLED BANNER EXHIBIT IN THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY IN WASHINGTON DC AND A FABULOUS ONLINE RESOURCE FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE FLAG, THE SONG, AND THE WAR OF 1812

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You can visit the actual flag, preserved at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
It is the very definition of an awesome experience:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibition.cfm?key=38&exkey=70

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Click here for an online exhibition of the flag, the song and its history:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/

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Wonderful historical article (with marvelous pictures and a fun quiz to take the earns a certificate for answering all questions correctly) about the War of 1812 and how the STAR SPANGLED BANNER became the United States National Anthem, on Smithsonian website:
http://amhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/

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What makes all this extra fun for me?  “The Star Spangled Banner” is the subject of many Singable Picture Books!

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The Star-Spangled Banner
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
Edited by Barbie H. Schwaeber
Illustrated by Frank Ordaz

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Oh Say Can You See (The Star Spangled Banner)

Traditional Tune
Words by Frances Scott Key
Additional Text by D. Clark
Published by Make Believe Ideas Ltd.

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2014 edition with new cover art
star spangled banner peter spier 2014
Star Spangled Banner, 2014 Reissue
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
Illustrated by Peter Spier

When it comes to creating accurately detailed pictures that are fun to look at and respect the intelligence of children, you can’t find a better illustrator than Peter Spier.  This is a fantastic book.  The pictures tell the authentic story of the battle, witnessed by Francis Scott Key, which inpired the poem, which was later set to music and eventually became our National Anthem.  This book features printed music and a detailed essay about the song, and three verses of the song’s original text.

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1973 edition

Star Spangled Banner
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
Illustrated by Peter Spier

When it comes to creating accurately detailed pictures that are fun to look at and respect the intelligence of children, you can’t find a better illustrator than Peter Spier.  This is a fantastic book.  The pictures tell the authentic story of the battle, witnessed by Francis Scott Key, which inpired the poem, which was later set to music and eventually became our National Anthem.  This book features printed music and a detailed essay about the song, and three verses of the song’s original text.

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Star Spangled Banner
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
Illustrated by Todd Ouren
(This book features printed music and historical information)

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The Star Spangled Banner
Traditional Tune
Words by Francis Scott Key
Text by Amy Winstead
Illustrated by Bob Dacey and Debra Bandelin

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The Star-Spangled Banner
Traditional Tune
Words by Francis Scott Key
Published by Random House Books For Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0375815966

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Illustrated Historical Accounts

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rockets red glare alderman moritz
The Rockets’ Red Glare (Celebrating the History of “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Written by Peter Alderman
Illustrated by Bea Moritz

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Story of the Star Spangled Banner

Written by Patricia A. Pingry
Illustrated by Nancy Munger

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THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
A Song Sheet for the Girl Scout Songbook

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THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER Song Sheet for Girl Scout Songbook
Star Spangled Banner GSSLyrics
Star Spangled Banner
Words by Francis Scott Key
Music by J. Stafford Smith
To view or print this song sheet, click here:
Star Spangled Banner GSSLyrics

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An excellent SMITHSONIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA entry about “The Star Spangled Banner and the War of 1812,” here:
http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmah/starflag.htm

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Read an interesting wiki article, here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

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For a list of patriotic Singable Picture Books, click here:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

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To Anacreon in Heaven
Wiki for the song To Anacreon in Heaven, the tune for which Francis Scott Key wrote the words that became known as THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER and the USA National Anthem
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Anacreon_in_Heaven

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Who is Anacreon?
Anacreon was a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anacreon

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Sing the National Anthem with this Karaoke video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i426pbQJZ_g

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It is ESPECIALLY fun to sing the Star-Spangled Banner along with Pat Donohue’s gorgeous guitar work, from his album, “American Guitar.”  To hear a clip or buy the track, click here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0012AMU8W/ref=dm_dp_trk16?ie=UTF8&qid=1284489815&sr=8-1

(PS:  Pat Donohue is a featured musician in the Prairie Home Companion’s “Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band”…read on!)

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Addendum, 2/7/2012
STAR SPANGLED BANNER ON THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

Watching the Antiques Roadshow broadcast from Eugene Oregon, I enjoyed this appraisal of a piece of the music used by a team of great American musicians to standardize the National Anthem under orders from President Woodrow Wilson.

Click here to view the appraisal form 2/6/2012:
http://video.pbs.org/video/2191597149

I’m hoping they will soon upload the video to YouTube, so I can embed the video.  But for now, the best I can do is the link.

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Addendum, December 2012
STAR SPANGLED BANNER FIRST EDITION SHEET MUSIC SOLD A CHRISTIE’S AUCTION HOUSE


I ran across an article about the December 2010 record breaking sale of a first edition copy of the Star Spangled Banner sheet music.  The article contains pictures of the first edition sheet, but also a wealth of information about the song:
http://www.luxist.com/2010/12/03/star-spangled-banner-sells-for-record-auction-price-at-christie/

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Addendum
From my March 2011 post, “The Star-Spangled Banner and the Man in the Red Shoes on the Radio”

My walk-up apartment in NYC was in the middle of a block on the 5th of 6 or 7 floors.  Cable was not on my list of affordable luxuries and my television go no reception at all.  But my tiny little flat was a world of happiness, thanks in large part to the delights of the public radio station WNYC and broadcasts of shows like “Prairie Home Companion.”

I looked forward to hearing Garrison Keillor’s show all week long.  Now, though the duties of motherhood often have me away from the radio on the weekends, I listen to the show whenever I can and savor it like a child licking a lollipop that she wants to last forever and ever.

These days, my Netflix Q of  on-demand videos brings me a lot of joy and includes many documentaries, including one I just saw:


Garrison Keillor:  The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes

Few things on earth inspire me more than Mr. Keillor and “Prairie Home Companion” and this documentary stoked the fire of my love.

I deeply enjoy finding places where beloved art forms intersect, as they did in this documentary, with the junction of “Prairie Home Companion” and our National Anthem and Singable Picture Book “The Star Spangled Banner.”

About 29 minutes into the show, Mr. Keillor says, in a scene performing before a live audience, “Let’s start out by standing and singing our Star-Spangled Banner…”  And then he continues with a voice over commentary about singing the song,

…Minnesota is a place where if you ask an audience to sing, they’re gonna do it, they were brought up to.  Like ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’  Which, like our system of government, is much maligned and badly abused, but, if you put it in the right key, which is the key of G, it works pretty well.  And it’s very moving.  People get so much of their politics listening to other people rant and rave on the radio sitting alone in a car, or reading someone’s blog.  And, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ is one of those rare moments when we sing a song together. Which means more for all of us joining in.  We share a common tongue and a fondness for jokes a love of American landscape and we are a Union.

This is also why singing songs together (especially with children and Singable Picture Books) is such a worthy activity…to enjoy our heritage in song, a moment in common.  And it allows for the reflection that regardless of what ideologies that divide us, we know, share and love, so many of the same things.

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Addendum, April 2012

The Gleichenhaus Family visited Fort McHenry (just outside of Baltimore, MD), site of the original Star Spangled Banner, in April 2012.

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Arriving at Fort McHenry on a gorgeous day, around 5pm, with the flap pole, ramparts and fort buildings in clear view.  Beyond the fort is Baltimore Harbor where the battle chronicled in our National Anthem took place.

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“…O’r the rampart we watched were so gallantly streaming…”

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My husband Charlie with the ramparts, the flag and the Singable Picture Book.

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My son Mo on the spot where the original Star-Spangled Banner (now preserved in the Smithsonian Museum of American History) flew and remained flying through the perilous fight.

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Addendum, April 3, 2012

On April 3, 2012, we participated in wonderful ceremony with large flag curated by a fabulous National Park Ranger.

Pictures of the Star-Spangled Banner Singable Picture Book with flag ceremony curated by a wonderful National Park Ranger on April 3, 2012 at Fort McHenry

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Above, the ranger is holding the flag we will open up, holding the edges and working together as a group.

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Above, the Ranger is telling the story of the Defense of Fort McHenry and how the poem by Francis Scott Key became our National Anthem.

At the end of the ceremony, our fabulous Ranger played The Star-Spangled Banner on the fife,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMzLmK6p3H0

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Addendum, April 3, 2012
My children Eloise and Mo with the Ranger after his fantastic presentation when the flag was once again respectfully folded,

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Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’r the land of the free and the home of the brave?  YES!  It does!  And, here it is flying proudly still on April 3, 2012,

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Addendum, 6/21/2012

A comment from a reader regarding words sung to John Stafford Smith’s tune BEFORE the tune was used for Francis Scott Key’s poem (which, of course, we know became the National Anthem):

Reader commented on Star Spangled Banner on Antiques Roadshow
A most familiar tune, before Mr. F. Scott Key used it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9lYC0lBfkA

I wrote back saying:

Thanks for this info. I did a tiny bit of research and found Ralph Tomlinson’s words documented on the Smithsonian’s website:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/starspangledbanner/the-melody.aspx
Thank you!

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www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMzLmK6p3H0

The Gleichenhaus Family visited Fort McHenry (just outside of Baltimore, MD), site of the original Star Spangled Banner, in April 2012. We participated in wonderful ceremony with large flag curated by a fabulous Ranger who also played for us the Star Spangled Banner on the fife.

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Addendum, 11/26/2013

One of the best things about living a subway ride from downtown Washington, DC is living in close proximity to the Smithsonian museums.  We are members and the terrific Smithsonian Magazine comes with the membership.

November 2013 Smithsonian Magazine features “101 OBJECTS THAT MADE AMERICA.”

I was particularly interested in the page on the Star-Spangled Banner (120 in Smithsonian Magazine, November 2013),
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/101-Objects-that-Made-America-228072031.html?c=y&page=101

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Addendum, 2/3/2014

National Anthem Sung at Super Bowl 2014 by Soprano Renee Fleming

We often sing the National Anthem in Sing Books visits.  We talk about the many reasons THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER is a wonderful song, that it tells a story, it captures a historical moment for the United States, that it inspired citizens in our fledgling country during the war of 1812, it is our National Anthem, it was written by a brave man endeavoring to save a friend while caught up in a battle of a war, we can visit the very flag about which the song is written at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, and we can visit the very ramparts over which the flag flew and was seen in Baltimore Harbor by Francis Scott Key at Fort McHenry outside Baltimore, and it is a beautiful song that inspires people the world over even today…

Renee Fleming captured all of that at the beginning of Super Bowl 2014:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7etXoNrwP8c

Caught sight of the sign language interpreter in a lovely moment.  Also gorgeous was that United States Armed Forces Color Guard.

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Addendum, March 10, 2014

Smithsonian Magazine, March 2014 published an article FROM THE CASTLE previewing the Museum of American History’s plans to celebrate the 200th anniversary of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER.  The article is also posted online:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/previewing-smithsonians-plans-200th-anniversary-star-spangled-banner-180949819/

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Addendum, March 2014

As part of the SINGABLE HIKE in Washington, DC, on march 16, 2014, the families of Girl Scout Troop 2740 visited the Smithsonian Museum of American History flag exhibit and then had permission to sing THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER.  It was wonderful experience.

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Girl Scout Troop 2740 Families sing THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER at the Smithsonian Museum of American History on March 16, 2014

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyyjS4sKI8c

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Addendum, June 2014

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The Story of the Star Spangled Banner in Smithsonian Magazine:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-story-behind-the-star-spangled-banner-149220970/?all

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Flag Day 2014 marks the beginning of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER with a 4pm National STAR SPANGLED BANNER sing along
http://anthemforamerica.smithsonian.com/

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STAR SPANGLED 200
http://www.starspangled200.com/press-releases/o-say-can-see-2014-marks-200th-anniversary-americas-national-anthem/#.U48tJPldWSo

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An excellent documentary about this history of THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
A STAR-SPANGLED HISTORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA:
http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/sc/web/show/3407072/a-star-spangled-story-battle-for-america

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YouTube of the RAISE IT UP! ANTHEM FOR AMERICA ceremony that Mo and I got to join in and see:

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Addendum, 6/16/2014
Smithsonian Programs:
RAISE IT UP! ANTHEM FOR AMERICA
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA
#RAISEITUP

IMG_0548 - Copy

My son and I went to the National Mall on June 14, 2014 for the Flag Day event at the Smithsonian Museum of American History beginning the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER.

It was the most gorgeous day and we spent all day in the museums and outside along the National Mall.

At 2:30 pm, the concert began outside and at 4 pm the whole nation had the chance to sing the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER as a country.  It was a wonderful experience and we are so glad we got to sing-along:

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Smithsonian’s RAISE IT UP! STAR-SPANGLED BANNER 1814-2014 webpage:
http://anthemforamerica.smithsonian.com/

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Smithsonian’s RAISE IT UP! STAR-SPANGLED BANNER 1814-2014 YouTube Channel:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZxSSLX6InCS0hy7w1Fz-HvO213OHaiSq

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Smithsonian’s blog post about this event:
Raise It Up! Anthem for America Concert

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Smithsonian’s timeline for the 200th anniversary of the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER:
http://anthemforamerica.smithsonian.com/music/

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Smithsonian Channel postcard advertising the documentary
A STAR-SPANGLED STORY: BATTLE FOR AMERICA

ssb flag lyrics pc - Copy - Copy

Watch the documentary at this link:
http://www.smithsonianchannel.com/sc/web/show/3407072/a-star-spangled-story-battle-for-america

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RAISE IT UP! ANTHEM FOR AMERICA
Program Flyer at Smithsonian Museum of American History
6/14/2014

2014 06 14 raise it up anthem for america program flyer

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Addendum 8/21/21014

Thank Goodness it was re-broadcast recently or I might not have see it, a C-Span3 (American History Channel) broadcast of a 7/3/2014 panel lecture/presentation/discussion at the Library of Congress called MYTHS SURROUNDING THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

To watch the video of the excellent, eye opening talk, click here:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?320280-1/myths-surrounding-starspangled-banner

Some things I learned from the video:

  • Francis Scott Key did not ride out the battle on a British Ship.  He was transferred to his own American ship, which was tethered to a British ship for the duration of the battle and for about 3 days after the battle while the British gathered themselves together to leave, after making arrangements with the British for the release of Key’s friend and client Dr. Beanes.
  • Francis Scott Key, like many Americans at the time knew it,  knew the tune to To Anacreon in Heaven and purposefully wrote his song (not poem) to the melodic structure of that existing tune.  This is something done all the time, even today, setting new words to familiar tunes, and Key did this on purpose after the Battle of Fort McHenry and while he waited on his own ship to be released by the British.  In other words, Key purposely wrote a song, not a poem.
  • The song was written to be sung as a joyous celebration, with a fast, upbeat tempo.

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Addendum, 5/17/2015

Robin Williams as the American Flag, a Tribute to his Genius, the Stars and Strips, and the Star Spangled Banner

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_L1vLv84vs

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Addendum, 5/14/2018
15 star and stripe flag eleg sbwe 1795-1818 - Copy

Our National Anthem is wonderful story song about an actual historical event. And it is thoughtful, asking questions and leaving each of us with the responsibility to answer those questions for ourselves. I suspect that many folks don’t know the story behind it, why or how it came to be written, maybe not even the words, or what the words mean.

I’ve decided to do my part in helping children know why and how this song came to be written.  My goal is to help children understand the words, what they mean, and to help each of the kids decide for themselves how the National Anthem fits with their understanding of the country and as of themselves as citizens.

I’ve written a short “Imagine This” essay to accompany the song.  I also researched a number of versions and assembled a set of chords to accompany myself with ukulele when I sing it.

I hope you will join me!

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Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE w chords
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Words by Francis Scott Key
Traditional Tune
Ukulele Chords Assembled by Emily Gleichenhaus
Drawing by Emily Gleichenhaus
To view or print this page, click here:
Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE w chords

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Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE no chords
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Words by Francis Scott Key
Traditional Tune
Ukulele Chords Assembled by Emily Gleichenhaus
Drawing by Emily Gleichenhaus
To view or print this page, click here:
Star Spangled Banner ELEG SBWE no chords

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Star Spangled Banner Imagine This ELEG SBWE cover only
OUR FLAG IS STILL THERE
Book supplement for essay
To accompany the singing of STAR SPANGLED BANNER
By Emily Gleichenhaus

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OUR FLAG IS STILL THERE
By Emily Gleichenhaus

Imagine this. Your name is Francis Scott Key. You are a 34 year old American lawyer living and working in the Georgetown section of Washington, DC. The date is a Tuesday, September 13, 1814 and your country, the United States of America, is engaged in a conflict with Great Britain that will become known as the War of 1812.

You are being held on a boat of the British Navy, in Baltimore Harbor, just off shore from Fort McHenry. You are there because, a few days before, you traveled from Georgetown to Baltimore to visit the British Fleet, which was now menacingly anchored in Baltimore harbor. Your job was to negotiate (with the permission of President James Madison) the release of your friend and client, Dr. William Beanes, who the British had captured. You were successful in acquiring your friend’s freedom, but with a catch. You were told that the British intended to attack Fort McHenry and that you would not be let go until after the battle was over. The British didn’t want you to give out any warnings as to what was about to happen.

It is now dawn of the following morning. The British have spent the whole night attacking Fort McHenry with rockets and bombs. As the sun is just now sending a few light rays over the horizon, you anxiously look towards the fort. You are struck with pride and relief to see that the American Stars and Stripes flag is still flying over the fort’s walls. Seeing this, you know the Americans have prevailed, for, if the British had seized the fort, they would have run their own flag up that pole.

You are so inspired that poetry fills your head and you set to the task of writing it out. The first verse of your poem (which you set to the rhythms of a popular bar song) is full of questions, as you process the overwhelming emotion about this glorious victory. You assemble poetic words to ask your readers, and posterity, questions like, “Do you see, this morning, in the first light of day, that same flag that we saw bravely flying over the fort as the sun went down last night? Do you see that same flag that we caught glimpses of during the night when flashes of fire from exploding bombs and contrails of rockets briefly lit the sky? Could it really be true that our Stars and Stripes flag still flies over this land and that we can still call it the United States of America?”

The answer to that question in September 1814 was, “Yes!” And, thanks to hard work and bravery of fellow Americans ever since, now, in 2018, the answer is still, “Yes!”

The first verse of Francis Scott Key’s four stanza poem became the American National Anthem in March of 1931, we still sing the song and ask the questions in Francis Scott Key’s famous rhyme,

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, through 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?

Yes. The answer is yes.

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The ukulele work in progress:

Learning uke chords to accompany myself to sing Star Spangled Banner

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Related Posts

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THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, AN ILLUSTRATED SONG
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-defense-of-fort-mchenry-written-this-day-196-years-ago-by-francis-scott-key/

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Star-Spangled Banner, Another Illustrated Rendition, this one from the Smithsonian Institution
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/star-spangled-banner-another-illustrated-rendition-this-one-from-the-smithsonian-institution/

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STAR SPANGLED BANNER ON ANTIQUES ROADSHOW
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/star-spangled-banner-on-antiques-roadshow/

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The Defense of Fort McHenry, written this day (September 14, 2010) 196 years ago by Francis Scott Key, became our National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-defense-of-fort-mchenry-written-this-day-196-years-ago-by-francis-scott-key/

*
FLAG DAY, JUNE 14

https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/june-14-is-flag-day-celebrate-with-singable-picture-books/

*
FOURTH OF JULY AND OTHER HOLIDAYS CELEBRATING THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND HER CITIZENS AND HISTORY
A list of Singable Picture Books celebrating the Fourth of July
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/a-patriotic-list-of-singable-books-for-july-4th/

*
NATIONAL PARKS (and PRAISE for National Park Rangers)
Singable Picture Books that illustrate songs with origins in locations of United States history which are in the care of the National Park Service
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/in-praise-of-national-park-rangers/

*
Smithsonian Magazine, November 2013, 101 Objects that Made America
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/smithsonian-magazine-november-2013-101-objects-that-made-america/

*
Girl Scouts Songs for Troop 2740 Songbook Resources Page
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/girl-scouts-songs-troop-2740/

*
SINGABLE SITES IN WASHINGTON DC – HISTORY
A list of song titles with links to posts of songs that will enrich your experience, or are directly related to, historical locations in (or near) Washington, DC
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/singable-sites-in-washington-dc-history/

*
THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, a Patriotic Girl Scout Song for Troop 2740
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/the-star-spangled-banner-a-patriotic-girl-scout-song-for-troop-2740/

*
MUSICIAN BADGE with Mrs. G for Girl Scout Juniors Troop 2740, the Singable Hike in Washington, DC
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/musician-badge-with-mrs-g-the-singable-hike-in-washington-dc/

*
THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS, a Patriotic Girl Scout Song for Troop 2740
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/the-gettysburg-address-a-patriotic-girl-scout-song-for-troop-2740/

*
MUSICIAN BADGE with Mrs. G, Meeting Activities, for Girl Scout Juniors Troop 2740: HOW TO SING A SONG FOR PERFORMANCE OR JUST FOR FUN
http://brownietroop2740.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/musician-badge-with-mrs-g/

*
Washington DC Singable Hike #1: STAR SPANGLED BANNER (at SMAH) and GETTYSBURG ADDRESS  (at LM) 
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/washington-dc-singable-hike-1-star-spangled-banner-at-smah-and-gettysburg-address-at-lm/

*
STAR SPANGLED BANNER POST ADDENDA, 8/21/2014
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/star-spangled-banner-post-addenda-8212014/

*
The Rockets’ Red Glare (Celebrating the History of  “The Star-Spangled Banner”), a great addition to collection of illustrated histories and settings of our National Anthem
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/the-rockets-red-glare-celebrating-the-history-of-the-star-spangled-banner-a-great-addition-to-collection-of-illustrated-histories-and-settings-of-our-national-anthem/

*
Robin Williams as the American Flag, a Tribute to his Genius, the Stars and Strips, and the Star Spangled Banner
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/robin-williams-as-the-american-flag-a-tribute-to-his-genius-the-stars-and-strips-and-the-star-spangled-banner/

*
KEEP ON SEWING BETSY ROSS, an Illustrated Song
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2016/05/23/keep-on-sewing-besty-ross-a-fun-song-about-the-first-american-flag/

*
The Star Spangled Banner, Imagine This, and Ukulele Chords (5/14/2018)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/the-star-spangled-banner-imagine-this-and-ukulele-chords/

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