Monday, June 4, 2012

Flag Day

June 14 is Flag Day, the official commemoration of the adoption of the stars and stripes as the United States national symbol.  Many songs celebrate the flag, the most famous of which are "You're a Grand Old Flag,: and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Philip Sousa.

Of course the most famous song about the flag is The Star-Spangled Banner, which dates from 1814.  The words are by Francis Scott Key, but did you know that the song was originally a drinking song?  One of the Music Collection's song books has both versions.  Check them out below.  (Note that the first two notes of the melody were different a hundred years ago, when the book was published).  Although well known almost immediately, it was not offically declared the national song until 1931.

The song you know:

The original song:

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