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January 2018
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Belated Independence Day Post

In catching up with some forums that I'm a regular reader of, I found someone posting a story of an incident that happened to them while in the military. In reading the post, I learned something about the national anthem of the United States that I didn't know.

Herewith the complete text of the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner:

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 thro’ the mist 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 on the stream

’Tis the star-spangled banner. Oh! 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.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry 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.

I'm feeling...: contemplativecontemplative
Comments
lyrics

I recall that Laurie Anderson drew some flack for entitling an album "Home of the Brave?": the question mark was viewed as anti-American, even though it's right there at the end of the verse everybody knows.

The "conquer we must, when our cause it is just" bit gives me the willies, since pretty much every conqueror in history has claimed a "just cause". But hey, the song was written to be jingoistic and inspirational, not a sober statement of policy.

Re: lyrics

I recall that Laurie Anderson drew some flack for entitling an album "Home of the Brave?": the question mark was viewed as anti-American, even though it's right there at the end of the verse everybody knows.

Indeed it is - but think about how it's sung - while the 'chorus' is in fact grammatically a question, does it really sound like one when the melody drops at the end?

The "conquer we must, when our cause it is just" bit gives me the willies, since pretty much every conqueror in history has claimed a "just cause". But hey, the song was written to be jingoistic and inspirational, not a sober statement of policy.

Also true, but also recall that at the time it was written, we were fighting off an invasion from off-shore, and one of our aims was to take control of other territory controlled by that same invader - so it could be construed as a statement of war aims.