Oh Say Can You See


GD - SSB

Happy 4th of July, world. Liberty must be something we can all celebrate. Just like Christmas.

So I sing the US National Anthem in the shower sometimes. I’m not going to go into how its the most iconic song in the world and how we’ve all been exposed to it.

Here’s a gorgeous scratchy old recording of the United States Marine Band, and when I say old, I mean old.

The Star Spangled Banner became the official national anthem of the United States in 1931. It was written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key about his experiences in the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The lyrics are sung to the tune of a British drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven” composed by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, an amateur musician’s group from London.

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project : A digital collection of recordings held by the University of California at Santa Barbara.

I’ve selected several versions from Soundcloud:

Lady Bey (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, everybody) singing it a-capella, you can hear everything – she’s pretty pitch perfect:

 

The Marine Band with Lady Bey:

 

String instruments, really beautifully composed:

 

And an orchestral version, very movie soundtrack, with nice complex harmonies:

 

xx

ash

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