The Star-Spangled Banner by John Stafford Smith: The National Anthem of the USA

The former National Anthem of the US is called "America" or "My Country 'Tis of Thee". This is still sung on some state occasions and uses the same melody as God Save the Queen. The current National Anthem of the US is "The Star-Spangled Banner" whose title refers to the US Flag (The Stars and Stripes). The words of the song (originally called the "Defence of Fort McHenry") were written by the American poet Francis Scott Key after he was detained on a British ship during an attack on this American Fort in 1814. These lyrics were added to a well-known melody of the day composed by the British composer and musicologist John Stafford Smith (1750-1836) originally for a song called "The Anacreontic Song". Smith belonged to an English gentleman's club called the Anacreontic Society, after the Greek poet Anacreon. Many such clubs were social in nature, though the Anacreontic Society had a stated purpose to promote music and it included amateur song-writers and composers among its membership. Note that the various states which make up the United States of America also have their own State Songs and/or Anthems.

This arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" is for piano and can be played on its own, or to accompany singers and other instruments. More National Anthems and Songs can be found in our article National Anthems and Patriotic Songs.



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