Category Archives: Spangled History

Tears Bursting in Air: Michael Gandolfi’s 4-Verse Setting of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At the close of Michael Gandolfi’s Chesapeake: Summer of 1814 the audiences rises with the instrumentalists and chorus to sing the first and best-known verse of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Sitting in Row G, Seat 14 on the … Continue reading

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“The Anacreontic Song”—British Source Tune for the U.S. National Anthem

“The Anacreontic Song,” or “To Anacreon in Heaven” with words by Ralph Tomlinson and music by John Stafford Smith is the source for the tune Francis Scott Key had in mind when he composed the lyric “In Defence of Fort … Continue reading

Posted in Banner Legends, Music, Mythbuster, Spangled History | 1 Comment

How “The Star-Spangled Banner” Became Part of Football Pageantry

The Banner plays roles symbolic, commercial, and practical in professional football.  When the Banner begins, all eyes in the stadium turn towards the flag, men remove their hats, and all place their left hand over their heart. The Banner announces … Continue reading

Posted in Football, Spangled History, Sports | 2 Comments

A ‘World Premiere’ Recording of “The Star Spangled Banner”?

It’s an audacious claim to offer the premiere recording of the United States National Anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner” in January 2013! Certainly, the song is already more than well known and often performed. It has been recorded by such vocal … Continue reading

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What!—The National Anthem Is Not Even 100 Years Old?

“The Star-Spangled Banner” did not become the official national anthem of the United States until March 3, 1931 (80 years ago today [note: as of March 3, 2013 it’s 82 years]), when President Herbert Hoover signed a Congressional resolution (46 Stat. … Continue reading

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My Star-Spangled Banner—A “Key” Tradition in Sports Today

CONTROVERSY Christina Aguilera’s bluesy ornamented version of Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl XLV has reignited controversy over appropriate performances of the national anthem of the United States. While it is her lyrical indiscretions that have sparked … Continue reading

Posted in Controversy, Football, Lyrics, Music | Tagged | 3 Comments

How “The Star-Spangled Banner” Entered Professional Sports

As the tale is most often told, the practice of performing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” in American professional sports supposedly began as a tribute to a nation at war during the first game of the 1918 World Series which pitted the … Continue reading

Posted in Banner Legends, Baseball, Mythbuster, Spangled History, Sports | 2 Comments

Was “The Star-Spangled Banner” Really a Drinking Song?

It’s not unusual to read online that the United States national anthem was a drinking song and, like many myths, this tale has a core of truth surrounded by misinformation. Yes—the lyric of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” upon which Francis … Continue reading

Posted in Banner Legends, Drinking Song, Music, Mythbuster, Spangled History | Tagged | 4 Comments