Thursday, March 3, 2011

O Say Did You Know?

David Hildebrand pointed out on the Society for American Music listserv that "The Star-Spangled Banner" became the official US national anthem 80 years ago today. The BBC interviewed him for World Update (at about 47:40). I haven't seen much about it in the American news yet; I'm sure the Canadians will have something to say about it.

You probably know that the "The Star-Spangled Banner" got its melody from a drinking song. But do you know which one? And did you know that Francis Scott Key's lyrics first appeared in September 1814 as a broadside in Baltimore?

The Smithsonian Museum of American History has a great section on its website where you can find out a bunch of stuff about our national anthem. Check it out and impress your friends.

And whatever you do, make sure you know the lyrics.