In 1780, John Stafford Smith wrote the constitutional song of the Anacreaontic Society of London. Ralph Tomlinson a President of the society wrote the words to the song. For a bit of time it was a popular drinking song. It probably would not be familiar to you and me except for the familiar tune. Take a listen here:
Anacreon recording is performed by John Townley from The Top Hits Of 1776 on Adelphi Records.
I presume you recognize the tune of the drinking song. The tune was used in the 18th and 19th centuries a lot with the lyrics changing to fit the affairs of the time.
Most of us should be familiar with the history of fort McHenry and its role in the War of 1812 when Baltimore Harbor was successfully defended from an attack by the British navy on September 13 and 14th in 1814. We all learned in our school history classes (hopefully) that while observing the bombardment of the fort Francis Scott Key wrote the poem (Defence of Fort M’Henry) that was to become our nations National Anthem. The poem was then set to the tune of Smith’s “To Anacreon in Heaven” and its title soon changed to to The Star Spangled Banner.
President Woodrow Wilson gave the U.S. Bureau of Education the duty to provide an official version of the Star Spangled Banner. The Bureau enlisted the help of five musicians Walter Damrosch, Will Earhart, Arnold J. Gantvoort, Oscar Sonneck, and John Philip Sousa deliver the arrangement. In 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy signed General Order #374, making “The Star-Spangled Banner” the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered that “The Star-Spangled Banner” be played at military and other appropriate occasions. President Herbert Hoover signed a law adopting The Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem of the United States of America.
I do not know about you but our nations anthem has to be one the most near impossible songs to sing. I know the tune, I know the words, but seriously, it is an odd day out when I can get through it without stumbling on the words trying to muddle through the tune. If the lyrics were set to a drinking song, why not choose one of the easier old sea shanties – chanted, with emphasis on a syllable or word. Perhaps they saw the future where thousands of people gathered in a coliseum drinking beer signalling the games beginning by singing the tune.
This post is getting long but if you are so inclined here is a sampling of versions of the anthem.
The Star Spangled Banner
1898 Souza band played on a 1913 Victor Victrola model X:
1991 Whitney Houston Super Bowl XXV :
2014 A modern interpretation by Madison Rising. They performed a shortened version at the Nascar Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona.
And of course our friend Reyna! @ age 11
I watch the news, translate tweets, crazy, there is really only one common factor amongst the main players of war and strife right now – many generally dislike us if not hate. I do not wish to share my opinions on the political or religious conflicts going on right now. Maybe just convey the sadness or confusion. I do not know. I am conflicted.
The technological advances have created a new frontier. Social media plays out the details of war and conflict in real time. No immediate censorship – that is, if it gets out into the cyber space it remains. Sure, television stations, print news, and governments can delete them, fire those responsible, but if a tweet, a message board comment, or video hits the new frontier it will always be part of the record.
There are things I typed long ago using an old IBM 286 with a dial up internet connection posted on a PRODIGY board that I can still find. In the new cyber space frontier, what you type/share never disappears. Some of the opinions I held in the 80?s conflict with those I hold now.
Social networks and video sites have also created a great place for propaganda. It takes much investigation to weed through the bull. On the positive side, language translators exist in the new frontier. The happenings around the world in real time. Like any good debate it is easy to find the pro and con postilions of any situation. Then again there is a need to weed through the propaganda and untruths. As History plays out some choose to avoid, some censor, some just go for it and risk seeing or hearing the not so cleaned up, sanitized versions of what is going on around the world.
If I keep this crazy obsession with watching, listening, translating, in an attempt to understand the not so understandable I might end up learning a few new languages.
I bit of info if you choose to watch the following no guts nor blood shown video.
I also embedded it so I could turn off the related videos that can show up at the end as, well they might be disturbing to some. If you wish to watch it larger just use the full screen icon in the lower right. If you open the tube itself no such guarantee.
Slavyansk/Slavyansk, is a city in eastern Ukraine (located within the province of Donetsk) that was a stronghold of pro-Russian militants. Ukraine’s army won the battle for 100,000-strong Slavyansk a few weeks ago.
The song “The Town I Loved So Well” was written by songwriter Phil Coulter about his home town of Derry and the way it was devastated by the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The Dubliners was an Irish folk band that disbanded in 2012.
Once again I wish to make clear I am not promoting a side here. Everyone has a hometown.
I play games, a lot sometimes. Because I stay indoors during the summer months I read, watch television and play video games. The X box and play station variety. I like open world (games designed where the player can move through a virtual world and decide when or how to complete an objective), first person shooters (played from the first person perspective and well pretty much usually shooting the enemy), games with some historical theme (Assassins Creed Series for example), well, I just like games.
I just finished a bloody FPS (first person shooter) called Wolfenstein the New World Order. Sometimes games will surprise. This game actually had a storyline. Set in WW2 albeit an alternate futuristic version. The war is over Germany won it is 1960. The main character you play as falls in love and through the years, the story develops. None of this is relevant other than to explain why after shooting robots, the enemy soldiers, the main enemy, etc. etc. the ending is rather a surprise. The unexpected, is not that you finished the game or that you have no clear idea if your character is going to live another day in a sequel or if they died in the story it is what plays at the games conclusion during the end credits.
Just after all the game carnage, you finally won the final battle, the end credits and song are unexpectedly sentimental and in total contrast to the game play.
The end: game credits and song.
The end song a cover by Melissa Hollick. The song “I Believe” – is originally by Chris Isaak.
Here is the link to the launch trailer of Wolfenstein The New Order. i have taken the http and put it into brakets so that those of you who do not like guns, explosions, bad language etc. don’t have to see it.
just remove the red if you care or dare