The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

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.
Oh, 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 through the mists 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 in 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!

O! 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!

–Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Music

9 comments on “The Full Text of America’s National Anthem

  1. Teatime2 says:

    Never a fan of the SSB. It’s on about prevailing in battle and it’s difficult to sing, besides. There have long been musings about how other patriotic songs are better suited for a national anthem. I agree with those who think that “America, the Beautiful” is much more appropriate.

  2. Cennydd13 says:

    I’m one of them.

  3. Charles52 says:

    We sang two verses of “America the Beautiful” at Mass this morning, and I was thinking of how it should be the National Anthem. When Catholics actually sing something, you know it’s good. 🙂

  4. Second Citizen says:

    It would be nice if the men of this country weren’t seduced into thinking the “gay” national anthem was better than the real one. And whoever said that freedom was free? If you think you’ll never have to fight for it, you’d be better off somewhere else. Difficult to sing? Sure. That means it takes one of the best to sing it. We should all aspire to that. My vote will always be with “The Star-Spangled Banner”!

  5. Militaris Artifex says:

    To Anacreon in Heaven difficult to sing? I rather think not. Not even using the words by Key. By contrast, America the Beautiful is insipid.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  6. Teatime2 says:

    #3 Charles, we sang all of the verses on Sunday, lol.

    The warmongers here would be pleased to know that the later verses refer to war but not in the “exciting” and glowing terms as the SSB. It’s not a “gay” anthem (I mean, really? Saying that we live in a beautiful country is now “gay?”) but it’s definitely more realistic and representative of our country. Unless the best thing you like about America is our ability to wage and win wars.

  7. Paula Loughlin says:

    “1812 War- The Battle at Baltimore.”

    I’ll stay with the “Star Spangled Banner”.

  8. Bill Matz says:

    Far better than either is “God of Our Fathers”. Majestic, as a national anthem should be.

  9. Robert Dedmon says:

    God Save the Queen