Hasty Ruminations

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Only One Song?

Canadian singer Caroline Marcil had a rough night at a Canada-USA hockey game last Friday.

She was invited to sing "The Star Spangled Banner," but forgot the lyrics. Twice. (Her native language is French.) She left to get the written lyrics and when she returned to the ice, she fell down She left the ice in tears.

I felt bad for her. It got me to wondering about the song itself. I have sung it for years at patriotic events, and I wanted to see what other songs (or poems) were ever written by Francis Scott Key.

I found none.

Is it because the lyrics he wrote at Fort McHenry are flowery, antique, and eminently forgettable? A 2004 Harris Interactive survey of 2,200 adults found 61 percent of Americans don't know the words to "The Star Spangled Banner." Of those who claim to know all the words, only 39 percent know what follows the line "whose broad stripes and bright stars," according to the survey.

The National Anthem Project is trying to teach America to sing the national anthem.

Know why we can’t find any other poem or song written by Mr. Key? I don’t either, but his main job was as a lawyer.

Perhaps after some folks tried to sing his Anthem, they suggested that he not give up his day job.


  • At 10:40 PM, Blogger Stew Magoo said…

    Dredging memory banks...

    Please hold, this may take a while.

    Actually, he didn't write the song. What he wrote was a poem. Somebody else made it into a song.

    Probably Al Gore.

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Mellie Helen said…

    And the person who made it into a song probably hated Americans, given the ridiculous musical range of that song: "I shall write a tune that NO HUMAN can sing without changing registers! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!" (twisting evil handlebar mustache)

  • At 4:18 PM, Blogger kenju said…

    I seem to remember that the tune was taken from some older music, but I could be wrong.


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