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Drink to the Star Spangled Banner May 17, 2006

Posted by randomshme in Random Shme.

All this brou-ha-ha on cheering and jeering national anthems in my previous posts got me thinking about the origin of the Star Spangled Banner.

Most know about Francis Scott Key being kept prisoner aboard some British vessel while Baltimore (Fort McHenry) was being shelled. But do you know that the tune is "To Anacreon in Heaven", an old British drinking song?

More importantly, the tune totally fits — it is indeed a drinking tune! Don't believe me, see for yourself. Open a beer the next time you hear the anthem. If a college marching band is playing the song, you've got a huge advantage: you drink each time the cymbals crash. Consider:

Oh, say can you see (drink)

By the dawn's early light (drink)

What so proudly we hailed (drink)

At the twilight's last gleaming?

You get the idea. There's even a chug half way through, starting with "rockets red glare". You're done with your beer by the time you start singing "oh, say does that star spangled banner yet wave".

Anyway, with all this anthem controversy, I thought it might be good just to put things into perspective.




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