O Say Can You Hear? Book

Cover Illustration of Book "O Say Can You Hear?" by Mark Clague
O Say Can You Hear?: A Cultural Biography of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Mark Clague is now available.

This engaging, story-filled history of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by musicologist Mark Clague explores the meanings and traditions of the national anthem across more than two centuries of American history.

  1. American Dreams
    Francis Scott Key and the Writing of The Star-Spangled Banner
  2. Origins of a Melody
    The Music of The Star-Spangled Banner
  3. Banner Ballads
    The Many Lyrics of The Star-Spangled Banner
  4. The Banner at War
    A Song Sanctified
  5. Play Ball!
    The Banner in Sports
  6. Singing Citizenship
    A Tradition of Dissent
  7. Nation in Translation
    Language and the Politics of Belonging
  8. The Anthem and Black Lives
    An American History
  9. Performing Patriotism
    Musical Style as Social Symbol

The book is available from your local bookseller, as well as online retailers such as Barnes and Noble & Amazon. Audio recordings that illustrate the book are available on our recording Poets & Patriots and can be heard here for free. Musical scores to perform many of these songs and anthem variants are available in our Star Spangled Songbook.

See the recent reviews of O Say Can You Hear? below:

Interviews