Friday, February 11, 2011

National Anthem

The performance of our national anthem at the Super Bowl set me to thinking. Not necessarily about the grace notes, glissandos, slides, and general inattention to the tune demonstrated by the performer. Although that style turns me off, apparently it's favored by lots of popular artists. Not even the fact that she messed up the lyrics. It happens, even if you rehearse, even if you know the words cold. (I know one preacher who won't lead the Lord's Prayer without a copy on the pulpit).

No, I wondered why we don't sing some of the other verses written by Francis Scott Key, not just the first. The first stanza, the one we traditionally sing, describes the the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry the morning after a British bombardment during the War of 1812. But there are four stanzas, and the last one really speaks to me. What do you think?

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!


Katie Ganshert said...

That's the first time I've ever read it. I really like that stanza!

Susan DiMickele said...

Oh, I really like this. Like Katie I have never heard it.

And, for the record, if you were my doc I would follow your orders every time (ok, at least most of the time)!