Everyone knows the National Anthem. “Oh say can you see…?” I grew up singing it. But what I love about it is the story behind it. The song (poem, really. It got the melody later) was written by Francis Scott Key.
Key was on a boat during the attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. The British were ruthless fighters, and they showed the small fort no amount of mercy. Then, as the sun rose, those still inside the fort raised the American flag. Key saw the flag through the smoke, he saw the cannons still being fired, and he wrote the first four lyrics to the National Anthem on the back of an envelop.
Battle Hymn of the Republic (Glory, Glory Hallelujah!)
Battle Hymn of the Republic was written during the Civil War, and was sung by both sides. The lyrics varied depending on who was singing it, but the essence was still the same. The soldiers knew that, most likely, they wouldn’t be coming home. They sang this going into battle.
Here are two last ones. Enjoy!