Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays, not just because of the fireworks, but also because it is a celebration of freedom and, obviously, independence; both of which I hold dear.  

Every American knows the Star Spangled Banner.  What some don't know is that what is sung as our national anthem is only the first verse of a poem entitled "Defense of Fort McHenry" by Francis Scott Key.  Here's the whole thing:

Defense of Fort McHenry by Francis Scott Key

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?

On the shore dimly seen through 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 in 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 washed 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 freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved 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!

I haven't memorized the whole thing yet, but I'm real close. 
Here's the Wikipedia article on the Star Spangled Banner.  

While I'm on the subject of patriotic music, I'll pass on the links to some of my favorite patriotic country songs. 

By Toby Keith:
Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (there is some profanity usage in this one)

It's America - Rodney Atkins
Only in America - Brooks and Dunn
Ragged Old Flag - Johnny Cash

Have a wonderful Independence Day everyone.  God bless America!


  1. Hello!

    I’ve created a holiday of sorts that is kind of goofy, and wondered if you would be interested in participating in it. Here’s the link: