Star Spangled Banner Lyrics

In light of the current controversy over the revision of The Star Spangled Banner into an anthem for illegal aliens, I thought it would be useful for readers to see more lyrics to the song. First of all, there are verses 2 through 4 to the official national anthem, all of which come directly from Francis Scott Key's 1814 poem The Defense of Fort McHenry. For a nation at war with totalitarians who are vastly more wicked than were our British opponents of 1814, the lyrics seem especially apt:

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, when 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!

Later, the free people of Texas took the same tune to which The Star Spangled Banner had been set (more on that below), and created The Texan War Cry, celebrating the victory of the free Texans in their war of independence against the standing army of Santa Ana's tyranny:

Oh Texans rouse hill and dale with your cry.
No longer delay, for the bold foe advances.
The banners of Mexico tauntingly fly,
And the valleys are lit with the gleam of their lances.
With justice our shield, rush forth to the field.
And stand with your posts, till our foes fly or yield.
For the bright star of Texas shall never grow dim,
While her soil boasts a son to raise rifle or limb.

Rush forth to the lines, these hirelings to meet.
Our lives and our homes, we will yield unto no man.
But death on our free soil we'll willingly meet,
Ere our free Temple soiled, by the feet of the foe men.
Grasp rifle and blade with hearts undismayed,
And swear by the Temple brave Houston has made,
That the bright star of Texas shall never be dim
While her soil boasts a son to raise rifle or limb.

I wrote about the significance of these lyrics, and other aspects of the Texan war of independence, in my article Don't Mess with (Armed) Texans.

As many people know, The Star Spangled Banner and The Texan War Cry were both set to the tune of an older British song, To Anacreon in Heaven, which celebrates the entwining of the fruit of the vine with romantic love.

To Anacreon in Heaven, where he sat in full glee,
A few sons of Harmony sent a petition,
That He their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
"no longer be mute,
"I'll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
"And, besides, I'll instruct you like me to entwine
"The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine.

The news through OLYMPUS immediately flew;
When OLD THUNDER pretended to give himself Airs
"If these mortals are suffer'd their Scheme to persue,
"The Devil a Goddess will stay above the Stairs.
"Hark, already they cry,
"In transports of Joy,
"Away to the Sons of ANACREON we'll fly,
"And there, with good Fellows, we'll learn to entwine
"The Myrtle of VENUS with BUCCUS'S Vine.

"The YELLOW-HAIRED GOD and his nine fusty Maids
"From Helicon's Banks will incontinent flee,
"IDALIA will boast but of tenantless Shades,
"And the bi-forked Hill a mere Desart will be
"My Thunder, no fear on't,
"Shall foon do it's Errand,
" and, dam'me! I'll swinge the Ringleaders, I warrant,
"I'll trim the young Dogs, for thus daring to twine
"The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCUS'S Vine.

APOLLO rose up; and faid, "Pr'ythee ne'er quarrel,
"Good King of the Gods, with my Vot'ries below:
"Your Thunder is useless." - then, fhewing his Laurel,
Cry'd, "Sic evitabile fulmen, you know! ["This repels thunder"]
"then over each Head
"My Laurels I'll spread;
"So my Sons from your Crackers no Mischief shall dread,
"Whilst snug in their Club-Room, they jovially twine
"The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCUS'S Vine.

Next MOMUS got up, with his risible Phiz,
And swore with APOLLO he'd cheerfully join
"The full Tide of Harmony still shall be his,
"But the Song, and the Catch, & the Laugh shall be mine
"Then, JOVE, be not jealous
Of these honest Fellows.
Cry'd JOVE, "We relent, since the Truth you now tell us;
"And swear, by OLD STYX, that they long shall entwine
"The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCUS'S Vine.

Ye sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;
Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
'Tis your's to support what's so happily plann'd;
You've the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of Jove.
While thus we agree
Our Toast let it be.
May our club flourish happy, united and free!
And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCUS'S Vine.

Personally, I like all three sets of lyrics, and I also like other versions of The Star Spangled Banner which, in previous decades, have attempted to make our national anthem immediately accessible to new immigrants who are just beginning their journey towards citizenship and learning English. For these immigrants, a native-language version of The Star Spangled Banner was a step along the path to the day when they could renounce their allegiance to their native land, and take the American Oath of Citizenship:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God. In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.
It seems to me that the real cause for controversy about Nuestro Himno is not that it's in Spanish, or that it revises Francis Scott Key's lyrics in ways that, within the four corners of the lyrics, are not objectionable. My objection is that the song is currently used on behalf of a movement of people who--while demanding U.S. citizenship as a "right" despite their flagrant violations of U.S. immigration laws--are too often not willing to assume the duties of U.S. citizenship, which begin when the citizen affirms: "I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any...state...of...which I have heretofore been a subject..."