The Star Spangled Banner

… became the official national anthem of the United States on this date in 1931. You know what that means? For 155 years is was not the official national anthem. For just 83 years it has been. We could change it. It isn’t etched in granite.

The first (of four) verses:

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?

Who wants a national anthem that glorifies war?

And another thing singers, it’s an anthem, not a ballad, not a salsa number, not a rap. It’s an anthem, “a solemn patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.”

Alternative national anthem first verse:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Or, better yet:

This land is your land This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

The original Star Spangled Banner.
The original Star Spangled Banner.

1 thought on “The Star Spangled Banner”

  1. You’ll be glad to know that one of the songs sung at the Citizenship ceremony each month in New Mexico is “This Land is Your Land”.

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