Happy Birthday to the United States of America

4 Jul

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 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?

6 Responses to “Happy Birthday to the United States of America”

  1. eyedelonproductions Tuesday, 6 July 2010 at 05:34 #

    And God save the Queen!

  2. Diana Mercedes Wednesday, 7 July 2010 at 08:14 #

    America the Beautiful

    Oh, beautful
    For spacious skies
    For amber waves of grain
    For purple mountains majesty
    Above the fruited plain
    America, America
    God shed His grace on thee
    And crown thy good
    With brotherhood
    From sea to shining sea!

    This should be our national anthem. The Star Spangled Banner is difficult to sing even for professionals. Also, Francis Scott Key wrote the words after British ships were turned away at Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812, the only American military embarassment other than Vietnam. (Afghanistan is still pending.)

    This battle in Chesapeke Bay of course, preceded the redcoats torching the White House and Dolly Madison running screaming from the Lincoln bedroom in her nightgown with George Washington’s portrait under one arm.

    Then there is the Battle of New Orleans, the only clear victory during the campaign. Of course 19th century communications being what they were, the war had ended before Andrew Jackson made his name at New Orleans. The Treaty of Ghent that restored peace between the two nations was signed on Christmas Eve 1814, and news of this event did not reach America until after the Battle of New Orleans was won.

    This was fitting end however,impressment being the sole reason America declared war. The British decreed they would end impressment of American merchant sailors before the opening salvos of this small forgettable war were fired in the first place. But 19th century communications being what they were…

    America, the Beautiful a better national anthem. Thank you for the thought.

    • eyedelonproductions Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 02:09 #

      I agree that the militaristic theme of The Star Spangled Banner is perhaps not the most fitting in light of modern enlightened views of warfare: America the Beautiful captures the ideal of what our country should be. But The Star Spangled Banner is one man’s eyewitness account of the violent birthpangs of that ideal. I admit to feeling chills when I saw the actual flag as it is preserved at the Smithsonian.
      It is difficult to sing, yes: mangled versions abound. But so glorious when done right.
      Singing lessons should be a part of everyone’s education. I love singing it- nailing those high notes can be ecstatic.
      Here’s a great performance:

  3. Diana Mercedes Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 16:06 #

    I too get chills when hearing the anthem sung. And I love the independent spirit of the Dixie Chicks who were as millions of us were, embarassed by George W. Bush and his pre-emptive strike in Iraq.

    They were soundly cuffed for speaking their mind by fear mongering right wingers who stopped playing their music on the air, and tossed their CDs in the trash. So much for how ‘free’ we are in America. Freedom of Speech during the Bush era was reserved for those who agreed with his policies.

    The Star Spangled Banner is a celebration of War. War does not create greatness. Everyday people who work and strive and invent and build and innovate and raise families and pay the bills and weave steel into the fabric of a nation with heart and sweat and sacrifice make a people great.

    None of our ‘greatness’ could have been possible without the natural wonder that is America. Without her rich resources the land that is America would still belong to the Indian Nations. The first Americans were shoved off their land because a people coveted the Mountains and the Prairies and the unlimited natural goodness ‘God shed his grace on’.

    Tell me you don’t get chills when you hear America, the Beautiful.

  4. Diana Mercedes Thursday, 8 July 2010 at 21:46 #

    Oh, and by the way, you are right, American education is missing the salad; music, poetry, literature, art and philosophy.

  5. Eyedelonproductions Friday, 9 July 2010 at 00:07 #

    It’s more that the purple mountains, fruited plains and shining sea themselves give me chills.

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