N is for National Anthem


Taylor has sung the National Anthem so many times that he’s gotten really good at it.

and finally….

Here’s a little history lesson for you….

Francis Scott Key was a gifted amateur poet. Inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry the morning after the bombardment, he scribbled the initial verse of his song on the back of a letter. Back in Baltimore, he completed the four verses (PDF) and copied them onto a sheet of paper, probably making more than one copy. A local printer issued the new song as a broadside. Shortly afterward, two Baltimore newspapers published it, and by mid-October it had appeared in at least seventeen other papers in cities up and down the East Coast.

This 19th century version (MP3) of the Star-Spangled Banner was performed on original instruments from the National Museum of American History’s collection. Arranged by G. W. E. Friederich, the music is played as it would have been heard in 1854.
The Star-Spangled Banner

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 through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s 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 wash’d out their foul footstep’s 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 lov’d 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 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.


8 Responses to “N is for National Anthem”

  1. It’s actually quite an honor to be asked to sing the NA and I think Taylor takes it very seriously. Love seeing the rest of the verses there Grey. Have not read those in a long time. Thanks.

  2. Its a beautiful anthem. I love when the singer delivers it the way it was meant to be and not try to “jazz” it up. Taylor does a wonderful job. Our Canadian anthem is also beautiful and I’ve seen it “jazzed” as well. They are perfect the way they are..Thank you for this so close to Remembrance Day/Veterans Day. A reminder of what wonderful free countries we live in.

  3. jerseyirish Says:

    I always get teary when I hear him sing the anthem, you can hear the passion in his voice as he sings it. I also haven’t seen all the lyrics in a long time, thanks.


  4. I wanted to add this one at Talladega, which is the best version I have seen him do:

    Taylor has come up with a beautiful arrangement on the song. I think people appreciate a National Anthem singer that doesn’t add too many runs or stretch it out for more camera time.

  5. I’ve always felt inspired when I’ve visited Fort McHenry over the years. The fact that F.S. Key wrote this after witnessing the flag still flying after the water front battle during the Spanish American war, makes it seem perfect for our National Anthem. Recently the neighborhood has been gentrified as people bought many of the small older row homes within blocks of the Fort and water in downtown Balto. I’ve visited many battle sites in Maryland, Pa. and Virginia but this one, Jamestown in Va and the Revolutionary War one in St. Michaels Md. inspired me the most due to having taken place on both the water and land. Most of the Cival War battles were fought inland and Americans were their own enemies. The sung is difficult to sing but Taylor does it justice.

  6. I appreciate this post especially for those of us that have lost loved ones who have fought for our precious freedom. A reminder is needed sometimes, Thankyou.
    Caro P.S. Taylor sounds incredible.

  7. hicksfan7 Says:

    Having seen several videos, here and in the past, of Taylor singing the NA, I have always wished to see/hear him sing it live, in person. Something I have yet to have experienced.

  8. casualfan Says:

    Anyone who stands in front of millions live and sings this acappella style deserves a standing ovation in my book. Very difficult song to sing.

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