In apparent response to the tragic holiday shootings in Highland Park, Illinois on July 4, 2022, the American poet Amanda Gorman posted an alternate lyric for “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Twitter. Appearing that same day at 11:37 p.m., the new lyric evokes the sorrow, frustration, and deadly impact of gun violence in the United States of America and asks if the nation can save itself from these tragedies.
The Star Spangled Music Foundation stands in solidarity against violence. Using patriotism to lure unsuspecting victims into a human shooting gallery runs counter to the nation’s ideals. Thank you Ms. Gorman for contributing to the powerful tradition of lyrical protest involving our national lyric.
O say can we see, by the Gone's early flight, What so loudly we failed at the mornlight's past gleaming, Whose flawed stripes and strifed scars, through the perilous plight, Our wan hearts, we watched, stirred and valiantly screaming. And the rifle's dread glare, bullets bursting in air, Gave truth in our sight that our flag was not spared. O Say does that scar-mangled banner yet save, Our land of the free and the home of the brave? by Amanda Gorman, July 4, 2022