Lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner

Below are the words to The National Anthem
Francis Scott Key, 1814

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' 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?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

On Sept. 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key peered through clearing
smoke to see an enormous flag flying proudly after a 25-hour
British bombardment of Baltimore's Fort McHenry.

Key was inspired to write a poem, which was later set to
music. Even before "The Star-Spangled Banner" became our
national anthem, it helped transform the garrison
flag with the same name into a major national symbol of
patriotism and identity.

Over the years the Star-Spangled Banner has undergone
a series of transformations.

When it was made in 1813 it was a simple garrison flag.
After the British attack on Baltimore's Fort McHenry in 1814,
it became a valued keepsake in the family of Lt. Col.
George Armistead, the fort's commander.

The popularity of Francis Scott Key's anthem  during
and after the Civil War transformed it into a national treasure.
The historic flag was placed in the Smithsonian Institute in 1907.

The Star-Spangled Banner was made under government contract
in the summer of 1813 by a professional Baltimore flagmaker,
Mary Pickersgill. Assisted by her 13-year old daughter,
Caroline, and by two of her nieces, Eliza and Margaret
Young, Mary may also have received help from her mother,
Rebecca Young, who was a flagmaker as well.

To assemble the unusually large flag, Pickersgill laid
it out on the floor of a neighboring brewery. She used
English woolen bunting for the stripes and the union
and cotton for the stars.

Fort McHenry 1814

Back To Famous Places & Events Index

Free Pet Newsletter

Search Our Site

Pet Care Tips Directory

Gift Items for All Pet Lovers

Stuffed Plush Animals

Canine Care Tips

Feline Care Tips

Horse Care Tips

Site Map

Copyright ©
Choose To Prosper