National Anthem and Other Songs

National Anthem

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!

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Happy Fourth of July!

GodBless5x7There is an old tradition in our nation to read the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July. It reminds us who we are, what we stand for, and why we’re here at all. Remember our Founding Fathers, our leaders, their sacrifices, and the millions of people who have fought and stood for our nation against all odds. Thank you for your patriotism, your courage, and your sacrificial protection and defense of our home. America is indebted to you, and she thanks you.

Please listen to the whole Declaration. I know it can get a little tedious, but the passion that Jefferson communicates at the very end is amazing and worth the wait.

 

Let it Burn

Raising-the-Flag-on-Iwo-Jima-is-a-historic-photograph-taken-on-February-23-1945-mtsu.edu-jjjWe hear about America all the time during this time of year, sometimes to the point where it becomes numbing. “Yeah, yeah. We get it already. A bunch of guys kicked an Empire’s butt, and now I can’t get a breather when that time rolls around again.” Yeah, it can feel that way. Especially when you hear the same things over and over again. But there are some amazing stories and the like out there, ones that don’t say the same thing over and over again, but actually sink to our core and remind us who we are as a people. We’re not a cheep, more-plastic-than-cloth flag hanging next to the basket ball hoop. We’re not a red-white-and-blue cake/jello recipe off of the internet. We’re not even those amazing bursts of colored fire that light up the July sky.

We’re rebels. Not for the sake of it, not against what’s good. We’re rebels against the normality of the world. We’re rebels against oppression, against unjust rule, against tyranny. We’re rebels against what the world wants us to cower before. We’re not a grill sale. We’re not even the Declaration. We’re a people, a promise, a hope. WE are America.

Listen to stories from our past. Catch the spark of red white and blue fire, let it burn. Let it hurt. Yeah, our nation is messing up. That hurts. We’re not acting in ways that would make Washington or Kennedy proud. But, you know what, America is the people’s country. If we don’t like it, let’s raise our voices. We can make a difference, we just need to stop limiting ourselves. Let it burn, let it sweep across the nation. Let it burn!