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The Morning’s First Beam

Happy Independence Day!

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 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, now conceals, now 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! 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 wiped 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.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the 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 we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

By the way – can anyone point me to a quality vocal recording of all four stanzas pf the Star Spangled Banner. Inexplicable, the only time I’ve heard a recording of anything other than the first was in that not-bad Tom Clancy movie, The Sum of All Fears, just before Baltimore got nuked.

5 Responses to “The Morning’s First Beam”

  1. mike hollihan Says:

    I’m not sure but the Ray Charles version supposedly starts with the second or third stanza before coming back to the famous first.

  2. trainer Says:

    Ouch. I found a 1915 version with 2 stanzas sung by Woodrow Wilson’s daughter on wikipedia…you don’t want that one.

  3. The Pathetic Earthling Says:

    Heh! I found something on iTunes from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir — sung as a march, bless them, and at the tail end of the 30 second preview they seem to move on to the second stanza. I may have to bite the 99cent bullet and get it.

  4. GunGeek Says:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) have all kinds of music available for free download. Here’s a link to The Star Spangled Banner with vocals and all four stanzas. It’s also available as just an instrumental at the same site.

    The “340” in the name is because it’s hymn #340 in their current hymnal.

    Lots of other free audio files are available on their website, not just music. Want the New Testament as mp3 files? It’s there. No charge.


  5. Justthisguy Says:

    You ain’t heard it done right until you’ve heard the Afterburner Arrangement. Got to participate in that, once.

    My high school band was playing at an Orange Bowl game, and for the pregame show we marched on to Barnum & Bailey’s Favorite, then played the Fillmore “trumpeting” arrangement of SSB at a good hot allegro. Somewhere around “rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”, a pair of big smoky old Phantom IIs came over the stadium real low, lighting burners at just that moment. Got much applause.