Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Oh, Say Can You See...

Yep, those are the opening lyrics of our National Anthem. It's a song near and dear to my heart because I do love America. It has a lot of issues. A lot. But it also has a lot going for it. And also, I sing it a lot during hockey season. I've sung it three times in the last five days and will sing it yet again tomorrow night. :0)

But that's not where I was going. A couple of months ago, I listened to a podcast about the writing of the Star Spangled Banner.

Francis Scott Key was a lawyer and, according to Amazon, an amateur poet. Our anthem began its life as a poem called the "Defence of Fort Henry." Key was being held temporary captive aboard a pair of British ships. He and another lawyer were on a mission of truce at the time the bombardment of Fort Henry began.

As he indicates in the poem, he was watched through night as Fort Henry was being attacked. Watching from the enemy's ship. Key was a guy who lived this, was practically a part of it. He didn't just write an ode to the battle and to America's victory. Knowing all this gives the song a new gravitas for me.

For more information, here's the Star-Spangled Banner's Wikipedia page, and here's the link to the History This Week podcast about the writing of the Star-Spangled Banner "Land of the Free?".

 Have a great rest of your week. See you Friday.

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