Feel free to use and adapt this text for your school’s #Anthem200 announcement…
“This Sunday (September 14, 2014) marks the two hundredth anniversary of the writing of the United States National Anthem “The Star Spangled Banner.” Poet and American patriot Francis Scott Key penned the song’s famous lyric aboard ship after the surprise victory of American forces against the British navy at the Battle of Baltimore on September 14, 1814. This victory shifted the momentum of the War of 1812, also known as America’s Second War of Independence, preserving the young nation’s self-rule and helping to deepen American identity and pride.
“This recording you will hear in a few moments is a performance of the original 1814 sheet music of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It is just a bit different than the way we Key’s song today. Changes in rhythm, melody, and especially the faster tempo, reveal the song’s origins as a victory song of celebration. Over the past two hundred years the tempo has slowed down, making Key’s song into a reverent hymn to the nation. It was not until 1931 that the U.S. Congress named “The Star Spangled Banner” the official national anthem of the United States of America.”
Play Recording (verse one only), click here for Youtube version or click below to play online, you can also download a free education version of verse 1 (right or control click on this link and “save link/target as”).