The Star Spangled Banner which was a poem written by Francis Scott Key would eventually go on to become the National Anthem of the United States of America. It is said that the poem was not written to become a song but a counter opinion exist that popular songs of the era had actually lead Francis Scott Key to lay an indication of the piano music that can complement the song.
Francis Scott Key, a professional lawyer was not known as a poet or someone with a literary bent of mind until he witnessed the bombarding of Fort McHenry in 1812 by the British Royal Navy in Chesapeake Bay. It was his experience of witnessing the crumbling of the port to the severe brutality of the British ships amidst which an American flag (a small storm flag to be precise with fifteen stars and fifteen stripes) was seen flying atop the fort. Unaware of the fate of the battle, Francis envisioned of American victory symbolized by the flying flag, which came to be known as the Star Spangled Banner Flag. Francis did not write the poem until 1814 when he was one of the two men carrying a flag of truce prior to the Battle of Baltimore.
Several patriotic songs have been composed using the poem penned by Key ever since and they were sung and performed on different occasions at places all around the country. The Star Spangled Banner song that eventually became the National Anthem of America had its tune composition similar to a British tune of ‘The Anacreontic Song’ composed by John Stafford Smith.
The Star Spangled Banner song is regarded as one of the most difficult songs to sing due to its variance and the difficult octaves. Since the lyrics were originally penned as poetry, the meter and composition was not as convenient as normal lyrics of the era was. Although Francis Scott Key had indicated that the poem was to be turned into a song yet the piano music or the sheet music would become one of the most unique in its class in those times.
The poem and the subsequent song were not officially recognized as the National Anthem of the US until March 3, 1931 when President Herbert Hoover signed the congressional resolution. Today, the song is not always performed in its full length and in most cases, only the first stanza is used in major public events.
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