1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Late..But 4th of July must hear

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by IAJack, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. IAJack

    IAJack Well-Known Member

    Gun related..you decide

    Sorry I was out of town over the weekend and should have posted this earlier for you your friends and family and everyone to listen to. In my annual tradition here is the Star Spangled Banner as you have probably never heard it before. It is quite a download but worth the wait. Below is the text if you care to read or are on dial-up.


    The Story behind the National Anthem
    By an unknown speaker
    As heard on Jan Mickelson’s show on WHO Radio

    There was a lawyer once. His name was Francis Scott Key. He penned a song that I'm sure you're aware of. You've seen it; it's in most hymnals throughout our churches. It's called the National Anthem. It is our song as an American.

    We go, however, to a ballgame; we stand in our church services and we sing the words to that song and they float over our minds and our lips and we don't even realize what we're singing. Most of us have memorized it as a child. But we've never really thought about what it means.

    Let me tell you a story.

    Francis Scott Key was a lawyer in Baltimore. The colonies were engaged in vicious conflict with the mother country, Britain. Because of this conflict (and the protractiveness of it), they had accumulated prisoners on both sides. The American colonies had prisoners and the British had prisoners. And the American Government initiated a move. They went to the British and said let us negotiate for the release of these prisoners. They said, “We want to send a man out to discuss this with you.†They were holding the American prisoners in boats about a thousand yards offshore. And they said, “We want to send a man by the name of Francis Scott Key. He will come out and negotiate to see if we can make a mutual exchange.â€

    On the appointed day, in a rowboat, he went out to this boat and he negotiated with the British Officials. And they reached a conclusion that men could be exchanged on a one-for-one basis.

    Francis Scott Key, Jubilant with the fact that he'd been successful, went down below in the boats and what he'd found was a cargo hold full of humanity. Men.

    And he said, "Men, I've got news for you tonight, you're free!" He said, "Tonight I have negotiated successfully your return to the colonies." He said, "You'll be taken out of this boat, out of this filth, out of your chains.â€

    As he went back up on board to arrange for their passage to the shore, the admiral came and he said, “We have a slight problem.†He said, “We will still honor our commitment to release these men, but it'll be merely academic after tonight. It won't matter.â€

    Francis Scott Key said, "What do you mean?"

    He said, "Well Mr. Key, tonight, we have laid an ultimatum upon the colonies. Your people will either capitulate and lay down the colors of that flag that you think so much of, or -- you see that fort right over there -- Fort Henry?" He said, "We're going to remove it from the face of the earth."

    [Key] said, "How are you going to do that?"

    [The admiral] said, "If you will, scan the horizon of the sea."

    As [Key] looked, he could see hundreds of little dots.

    And [The admiral] said, “That's the entire British war fleet.†He said, “All of the gun power; all of the armament is being called upon to demolish that fort. [The fleet] will be here within striking distance in a matter of about two and a half hours.†He said, “The war is over; these men would be free anyway.â€

    [Key] said, "You can't shell that fort!" He said, “That's a large fort.†He said, “It's full of women and children.†He said, “It's predominantly not a military fort.â€

    [The Admiral] said, "Don't worry about it. They said we've left them a 'way out'"

    [Key] said, "What's that?"

    [The Admiral] said, "Do you see that flag way up there on the rampart?" He said, "We have told them that if they will lower that flag, the shelling will stop immediately...and we'll know that they've surrendered...and you'll now be under British rule.â€

    Francis Scott Key went down below and told the men what was about to happen. And they said, "How many ships?", and he said, "Hundreds."

    The ships got closer. Francis Scott Key went back up on top and he said, "Men, I'll shout down to you what's going on as we watch."

    As twilight began to fall…and as the hays hung over the oceans as it does at sunset, suddenly the British war fleet unleashed.


    He said, "The sounds were deafening." He said, "There were so many guns, there were no reliefs." He said, "It was absolutely impossible to talk or hear." He said, "Suddenly, the sky, although dark, was suddenly lit."

    And he says from down below, all he could hear, the men, the prisoners saying was, "Tell us where the flag is. What have they done with the flag? Is the flag still flying over the rampart? Tell us!"

    One hour. Two hours. Three hours into the shelling. Every time the bomb would explode and it would be close to the flag, they could see the flag in the illuminated red glare of that bomb, and Francis Scott Key would report down to the men below, "It's still up! It's not down!â€

    The admiral came, and he said, "Your people are insane." He said, "What's the matter with them?" He said, "Don't they understand this is an impossible situation?"

    Francis Scott Key said he remembered what George Washington had said. He said, "The thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the world is he will die on his feet before he'll live on his knees.â€

    The Admiral said, “We have now instructed all of the guns to focus on the rampart to take that flag down.†He said, “We don't understand something. Our reconnaissance tells us that that flag has been hit directly...again...and again...and again, and yet it's still flying. We don't understand that.†“Butâ€, he said; “now we're about to bring every gun, for the next three hours, to bear on that point.â€

    Francis Scott Key said the barrage was unmerciful. All that he could hear...was the men down below...praying. The prayer: "God keep that flag flying...where we last saw it."

    Sunrise came. [Key] said there was a heavy mist hanging over the land, but the rampart was tall enough...there stood the flag...completely nondescript...in shreds. The flagpole itself was at a crazy angle. But the flag was still at the top. Francis Scott Key (went aboard and) immediately went into Fort Henry to see what had happened. And what he'd found had happened was that that flagpole and that flag had suffered repetitious direct hits...and when it had fallen...that men, fathers...who knew what it meant for that flag to be on the ground...although knowing that all of the British guns were trained on it, walked over and held it up...humanly...until they died. Their bodies were removed and others took their place. Francis Scott Key said what held that flagpole in place at that unusual angle...were patriots' bodies.

    He penned the song.

    “Oh say, can you see...by the dawn's early light...what so proudly we hailed...at the twilight's last gleaming...for the rocket's red glare...the bombs bursting in air...gave proof through the night...that the flag was still there! Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet (fly and) wave...for the land of the free...and the home of the brave.â€

    The debt was demanded. The price...it was paid.

    (Actual lyrics)

    Oh, 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:
    'T is the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2003
  2. Triad

    Triad Well-Known Member

  3. IAJack

    Do you know of an mpg/midi format for this??

    My "puter can't/won't open said file :( :(


    Edited by me.
    I found the problem, at least for me on my end. The bracket after the 3 in mp3 needs to be removed. I went to the who.radio site and found the right link on Mickelsons' (sp) home page.
  4. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Well-Known Member

    What a load of absolute crap. That story is so full of factual errors or flat out lies that repeating it ought to be treason.
  5. telomerase

    telomerase Well-Known Member

    >That story is so full of factual errors or flat out lies

    Well, sure... but it's not polite to just say so without telling at least an outline of the real story (and since I'm too lazy, maybe someone would do so?). Besides, it's more accurate than the WMD story that got the US into Iraq.
  6. telomerase

    telomerase Well-Known Member

    I will say, without looking it up, that the real "Star-Spangled Banner" has more lyrics. Something about the tryant and hireling, involving a grave...
  7. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Well-Known Member

    Francis Scott Key was born on August 1, 1779, in western Maryland. His family was very wealthy and owned an estate called "Terra Rubra."

    When Francis was 10 years old, his parents sent him to grammar school in Annapolis. After graduating at the age of 17, he began to study law in Annapolis while working with his uncle's law firm. By 1805, he had a well-established law practice of his own in Georgetown, a suburb of Washington, D.C. By 1814, he had appeared many times before the Supreme Court and had been appointed the United States District Attorney.

    Francis Scott Key was a deeply religious man. At one time in his life, he almost gave up his law practice to enter the ministry. Instead, he resolved to become involved in the Episcopal Church. Because of his religious beliefs, Key was strongly opposed to the War of 1812. However, due to his deep love for his country, he did serve for a brief time in the Georgetown field artillery in 1813.

    During the War of 1812, Dr. William Beanes, a close friend of Key's was taken prisoner by the British. Since Key was a well-known lawyer, he was asked to assist in efforts to get Dr. Beanes released. Knowing that the British were in the Chesapeake Bay, Key left for Baltimore. There Key met with Colonel John Skinner, a government agent who arranged for prisoner exchanges. Together, they set out on a small boat to meet the Royal Navy

    On board the British flagship, the officers were very kind to Key and Skinner. They agreed to release Dr. Beanes. However, the three men were not permitted to return to Baltimore until after the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The three Americans were placed aboard the American ship and waited behind the British fleet. From a distance of approximately eight miles, Key and his friends watched the British bombard Fort McHenry.

    After 25 hours of continuous bombing, the British decided to leave since they were unable to destroy the fort as they had hoped. Realizing that the British had ceased the attack, Key looked toward the fort to see if the flag was still there. To his relief, the flag was still flying! Quickly, he wrote down the words to a poem which was soon handed out as a handbill under the title "Defence of Fort McHenry." It was renamed "The Star- Spangled Banner" by an adoring public. It became a popular patriotic song. It was not until 1931, however, that it became our national anthem.

    After the war, Francis Scott Key continued to live a very religious life. He was well-liked by his friends and was active in society. On January 11, 1843, while visiting his daughter in Baltimore, Key died of pleurisy. To honor the author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," there are monuments at: Fort McHenry; on Eutaw Street in Baltimore; at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland; and at the Presidio in San Francisco, California.

    Source: http://www.nps.gov/fomc/tguide/Lesson9a.htm


    Here are the lyrics to all four stanzas:

    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 thru 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 through 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?

    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! Oh 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!

    Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
    Blest with victory 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!
  9. HABU

    HABU Well-Known Member

    IIRC, the poem has four verses and the song only has three. I wonder why the whole poem wasn't put to song. Also, IIRC, it took something like 137 years to make it our national anthem.

    The "unknown speaker" is Dave Severn. I have it on VHS.

    Matt, aren't you gonna defend your position? Anyone can call BS on something, but it doesn't mean much unless you give an explanation.

    EDITED TO ADD: OK, you did defend your position.:eek:
  10. JohnBT

    JohnBT Well-Known Member

    Good story, but not the way they told it when I was growing up in Baltimore.

    And it's Fort McHenry, not Fort Henry.

    The last I heard the total was 4 American deaths and 24 wounded out of a thousand defenders. Not enough to hold up the flagpole I don't think - have you seen the flag at the Smithsonian? It was 30' x 42' when it was new.

    Mr. Key was on a ship 8 miles or so from the fort.

  11. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Well-Known Member

    The biggest innaccuracy is.......Wrong War!
  12. IAJack

    IAJack Well-Known Member


    I thought it was a good story, but tell us all the errors MC, it isn't that much of an embelishment from what you posted? I don't think it mentions which war though, it only says - "The colonies were engaged in vicious conflict with the mother country, Britain" - hence the war of 1812
  13. Matthew Courtney

    Matthew Courtney Well-Known Member

    The "colonies" ceased to exist in 1776. The British themselves recognized the United States of America with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Any reference to colonies and mother country would have to be to the Revolutionary War, not the War of 1812.

    Mr. Key was trying to secure the release of a single prisoner, Dr. Beanes, who was his friend.

    The negotiations took place on the British flagship, not a prisoner ship.

    Key watched the bombardment from an American vessel, not a British one, and certainly did not shout the "play by play" down to American POW's.

    There were fewer than 10 American fatalities during the attack. The flagpole was not held up by the bodies of American casualties.

Share This Page