Monday, July 6, 2009

O! Thus be it ever,

Did you know that Francis Scott Key was a Lawyer and Amateur Poet? An Amateur Poet, I think a lot of us could call ourselves amateur poets, I write a couple of poems a year, they are not that great, but it is fun to do. I don't think any of my poems will ever be as famous as his.

Did you know that he wrote 4 stanzas, (I found this on Wikipedia and they said they got the info from somewhere reputable…though I can not remember where)? I have only sung 3 verses, the 1st, 2nd and 4th that he wrote, and It kind of makes sense that we would cut out the 3rd because it isn’t that easy to sing, and is kind of hard to understand, I guess maybe I need to brush up on my understanding of the war of 1812.

Here it is- the Star Spangled Banner

"O! Say can you see by the dawns early light,
what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broadstripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallently 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, 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.

O! 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!”

We hear the 1st verse a lot, but I love the 2nd and Last verses the most, the second because I can imagine being there, hearing and seeing the fight but being just distant enough away from it that you kind of have to wonder what is going on, who is winning, is all hope lost. But you look and hope that what you see it what you think it is. Then after waiting and hoping the sun finally rises and shows you that your prayers have been answered.

I think I love the last verse best of all.

“O! Thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand between their loved home and the war's desolation!” This line just brings such a strong image into my mind, of my Grandfather and my Father, both of them served in the military. But I truly feel that the future will not be peaceful and my dear Husband and possibly my sweet Son will find themselves standing between their loved ones at home and a war and fighting to protect their freedoms. I feel such pride in my family and the service they have provided in the past, but I really do get scared sometimes about what the future will bring.


Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.” I think that our nation is trying its hardest to forget the power that made and preserved us as a nation. What does that mean for our future, if we forget the past, pretend that it didn’t exist or try to believe that we did it all on our own, with absolutely no divine help…oh, it makes me sad. I watched a little of a series on the History Channel called “The Revolution” and though I only saw portions of 2 episodes I was struck by how often it was pointed out that all was lost, but then something happened that would turn the tables in our favor, the one that I remember the best was a story of Washington being surrounded in the New York City area, and all was lost. He and his troops ended the day knowing, beyond a doubt, that they had lost the battle and first thing the next morning it would all be over for them. Washington decided to make one last ditch effort and he evacuated all his troupes during the night, they left by boat and crossed the east river to Manhattan. They truly did not have enough time and when day broke they were happy and amazed to find that there was fog. I don’t know much about New York City, but the narrator pointed out that fog such as they had was very unusual. Hmmm, to me, this is just one of hundreds, if not thousands or millions of the tender mercies that the “Power” blessed our nation with, so that we could become a nation, and stay a nation. He lives, that Power, I know it is God who has done these things, and if we are humble enough to acknowledge him and his hand in our lives, he will continue to preserve us.


Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'” So,this was our motto way back in 1814 huh, I personally think it is a wonderful motto. I also agree with Mr. Key, that when our cause is just we will conquer, even if the fight is long, the right will prevail in the end.

And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be a descendant of such selfless men and women who fought for freedom and goodness at home and around the world. I pray for our country and our people, that we will have faith, in ourselves and in God, that he may ever preserve us, and our freedoms. Wars, physical and spiritual rage all over the world, I pray that our homes will be places of safety and refuge so that we will have the ability and strength to fight when we are called upon to do so.

God bless you all, and God Bless America!

3 comments:

Angie said...

The reason the extra verse FSK wrote isn't usually included or sung is because it's very anti- British--all that talk of foul footsteps and hireling and slave and swearing of bands etc is his anger at the British aggression so soon, relatively speaking, after getting rid of the British in the first place. It kind of ruins the otherwise timelessness of the anthem, but he didn't know that was what he was writing, so I guess we can't blame him.

I agree with you, the last verse is my favorite and in a more and more poignant way as the years go by and our country progresses down its current path.

Tennille said...

Wonderful post! We sang this yesterday in church, and I cried like a baby, especially over the fourth verse. Beautiful words, and oh how I worry for the future sometimes, when our leaders seem to be forgetting what our founding fathers went through!

Jodi said...

Just for a bit of fun FYI. Have you ever read "1776?" The entire year of fighting with the British and the "rebels" only won one fight, the last one, in December. The 31st was the first major victory for Washington.