The Star-Spangled Banner: an American anthem with a very British beginning

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    Jul 04, 2016 2:20 PM GMT
    The song has its roots in a London gentlemen’s club in the 18th century, and Congress didn’t name it the official US national anthem until 1931

    Today, there will be barbecues, fireworks, and – of course – ceremonial renditions of the US national anthem. Among the proud American listeners, many will know the lyrics and that Francis Scott Key wrote them. But far fewer will know that the musical score of their beloved Star-Spangled Banner was composed by an Englishman and originally served as the anthem for a London gentlemen’s club.

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jul/04/star-spangled-banner-national-anthem-british-origins
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    Jul 04, 2016 2:30 PM GMT
    Ex_Mil8 said
    The song has its roots in a London gentlemen’s club in the 18th century, and Congress didn’t name it the official US national anthem until 1931

    Today, there will be barbecues, fireworks, and – of course – ceremonial renditions of the US national anthem. Among the proud American listeners, many will know the lyrics and that Francis Scott Key wrote them. But far fewer will know that the musical score of their beloved Star-Spangled Banner was composed by an Englishman and originally served as the anthem for a London gentlemen’s club.

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jul/04/star-spangled-banner-national-anthem-british-origins

    Thanks. I think a fair number of us Yanks do know that. We often hear the origin described as being a club drinking song, however, rather than a club anthem.

    And the US "My Country 'Tis of Thee" is a direct musical copy of "God Save the (King/Queen)", the British national anthem. Which I think is kinda cheeky on our part.
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    Jul 04, 2016 3:15 PM GMT
    ^
    You definitely bagged the better tune for your NA! That said, I think they are both pretty unsuitable for national anthems; yours, due to the vocal range required - ours, because it sounds like a funeral march.
  • jeep334

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    Jul 04, 2016 3:15 PM GMT
    Interesting topic. As a musician, I find our (US) national anthem to be as beautiful as it is challenging. Many times the soloist will, at the end of the anthem, reach out to a much higher note than written which then sends a tremendous chill down your spine when done well (depending on the key the song is written in, that higher note will be an A flat which is a half tone higher than a high G which is the high range of most sopranos) . I understand that Americans are far more patriotic than most other nations. You see the flag everywhere, all the time. Bottom line, the music shows the rich and endearing relationship between the two nations. I also believe that Canada and Australia hold many of the same principles as Great Britain and the US and are closely related as such. Happy 4th to all!
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    Jul 09, 2016 2:46 AM GMT
    Yeah, everybody knows that. Also "Hail To The Chief" comes from a musical comedy and started out as a joke.

    Well, really, it still IS a joke, made even more delicious by the people who don't know that.
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    Jul 09, 2016 12:44 PM GMT
    ^
    And another one composed by an Englishman. I think we should be charging you royalties.

    Although the lyrics are rarely used these days, perhaps Congress should be required to recite them at least once a year:

    Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
    Hail to the Chief! We salute him [or her], one and all.
    Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
    In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.
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    Jul 11, 2016 7:41 PM GMT
    It is a "rangey" number - definitely. I'm singing this accompanied by an organ at an opening home game (football) this fall at Stanford Stadium. I'm memorizing it & have time to get it down. You can bet I'm going to start it as low as I can so I can manage the high note toward the end!
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    Jul 12, 2016 1:27 AM GMT
    Jockbod48 said
    It is a "rangey" number - definitely. I'm singing this accompanied by an organ at an opening home game (football) this fall at Stanford Stadium. I'm memorizing it & have time to get it down. You can bet I'm going to start it as low as I can so I can manage the high note toward the end!

    Can we hear (and possibly see) a recording after you perform it?