Oh Say Can You Sing The Fourth Verse?

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Joe Riley, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    In church, this morning, we sang the first and fourth verses of The Star Spangled Banner. It is the first time I have ever sung the fourth verse. Has anyone ever sung it?

    O thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
    Between their land loved homes and war's desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer me must, when our cause it is just;
    And this be our 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?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  2. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    Yes. Learned it as a kid. Not sure where though. Possibly from a piano book. There are 4 verses. I never heard the 3rd one before.

    I like the 2nd verse (in the link) best.
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I can't hear ya Nancy :p
     
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  4. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Thanks for the link, Nancy! The insert in today's church program had only two verses. The fourth verse was incorrectly labeled the "second verse" . I have since changed the title of this thread.
     
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  5. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    I didn't say I wouldn't need to be prompted a little, after all these years.

     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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  7. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Well-Known Member
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    I never knew there were four verses. I thought there were only two.
     
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  8. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "Francis Scott Key himself wouldn’t recognize today’s version of the national anthem. The song was originally intended for a group of people to sing together. Today “The Star-Spangled Banner” has become a complete soloist affair, and the pace and general tempo is often much slower."

    "The Star-Spangled Banner"—Original 1814 Version (High Definition)
     
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  9. Nancy Hart

    Nancy Hart Very Well-Known Member
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    That's about the same speed we always sang it in school.
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Simpsons Bleeding Gums' Star Spangled Banner:cool:
     
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  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    #11
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  13. Jerry Adams

    Jerry Adams Active Member
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    I had this tucked away in my folders and thought it might be of interest to some.


    ALL FOUR STANZAS(This hit the Internet as an article supposedly written by Isaac Asimov and the editor's name was listed as Hardly Waite. Whatever, not need to "wait"...it is a good story!)
    In 1812, the United States went to war with Great Britain, primarily over freedom of the seas. We were in the right. For two years, we held off the British, even though we were still a rather weak country. Great Britain was in a life and death struggle with Napoleon. In fact, just as the United States declared war, Napoleon marched off to invade Russia. If he won, as everyone expected, he would control Europe, and Great Britain would be isolated. It was no time for her to be involved in an American war.

    At first, our seamen proved better than the British. After we won a battle on Lake Erie in 1813, the American commander, Oliver Hazard Perry, sent the message "We have met the enemy and they are ours."

    However, the weight of the British navy beat down our ships eventually. New England, hard-hit by a tightening blockade, threatened secession.

    Meanwhile, Napoleon was beaten in Russia and in 1814 was forced to abdicate. Great Britain now turned its attention to the United States, launching a three-pronged attack. The northern prong was to come down Lake Champlain toward New York and seize parts of New England. The southern prong was to go up the Mississippi, take New Orleans and paralyze the west. The central prong was to head for the mid-Atlantic states and then attack Baltimore, the greatest port south of New York.

    If Baltimore was taken, the nation, which still hugged the Atlantic coast, could be split in two. The fate of the United States, then, rested to a large extent on the success or failure of the central prong.

    The British reached the American coast, and on August 24, 1814, took Washington, D. C. Then they moved up the Chesapeake Bay toward Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived and found 1000 men in Fort McHenry, whose guns controlled the harbor. If the British wished to take Baltimore, they would have to take the fort.

    On one of the British ships was an aged physician, William Beanes, who had been arrested in Maryland and brought along as a prisoner. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and friend of the physician, had come to the ship to negotiate his release. The British captain was willing, but the two Americans would have to wait. It was now the night of September 13, and the bombardment of Fort McHenry was about to start.

    As twilight deepened, Key and Beanes saw the American flag flying over Fort McHenry. Through the night, they heard bombs bursting and saw the red glare of rockets. They knew the fort was resisting and the American flag was still flying. But toward morning the bombardment ceased, and a dread silence fell. Either Fort McHenry had surrendered and the British flag flew above it, or the bombardment had failed and the American flag still flew.

    As dawn began to brighten the eastern sky, Key and Beanes stared out at the fort, trying to see which flag flew over it. He and the physician must have asked each other over and over, "Can you see the flag?"

    After it was all finished, Key wrote a four stanza poem telling the events of the night. Called "The Defence of Fort M'Henry," it was published in newspapers and swept the nation. Someone noted that the words fit an old English tune called "To Anacreon in Heaven" -- a difficult melody with an uncomfortably large vocal range. For obvious reasons, Key's work became known as "The Star Spangled Banner," and in 1931 Congress declared it the official anthem of the United States.

    Now that you know the story, here are the words. Presumably, the old doctor is speaking. This is what he asks Key:

    The Star Spangled Banner Oh! 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 rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
    Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
    Oh! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

    "Ramparts," in case you don't know, are the protective walls or other elevations that surround a fort. The first stanza asks a question. The second gives an answer:

    On the shore, dimly seen thro' the mist 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. Oh! long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

    "The towering steep" is again, the ramparts. The bombardment has failed, and the British can do nothing more but sail away, their mission a failure.
    In the third stanza, I feel Key allows himself to gloat over the American triumph. In the aftermath of the bombardment, Key probably was in no mood to act otherwise.

    (During World War II, when the British were our staunchest allies, this third stanza was not sung. However, I know it, so here it is.)

    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 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.

    The fourth stanza, a pious hope for the future, should be sung more slowly than the other three and with even deeper feeling:

    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved homes 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 preserved us a nation.

    Then conquer we must, for our cause is just,
    And this be our motto--"In God is our trust."
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

    I hope you will look at the national anthem with new eyes. Listen to it, the next time you have a chance, with new ears.
    And don't let them ever take it away.

    --Isaac Asimov



     
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  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Flag that flew over Fort McHenry during its bombardment in 1814, which was witnessed by Francis Scott Key. The family of Major Armistead, the commander of the fort, kept the flag until they donated it to the Smithsonian in 1912.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    In Defense of Fort McHenry & the National Day of Prayer (2008)
    [​IMG]

    "I don’t know about you, but I wish they had left the entire song in tact. After All, that last verse really says it all. Unfortunately, just as so many other things have been randomly challenged by our seemingly Godless culture- so, too, I am sure someone would take the National Anthem to the Supreme Court should it be used in its entirety. What a beautiful testimony to God’s Sovereignty and the grace afforded this nation in battle. Written in a time when it was an honor and a duty to fight for one’s country and the freedom of others. "
     
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