The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, Narrated by J.D. Sutter

It is Independence Day here in the ol' U S of A so I decided to share a little patriotic piece with you. Every American knows the National Anthem, but many do not realize that those eight lines are just the first stanza of a much longer poem. It was written in September of 1814 by lawyer Francis Scott Key as he witnessed a day-long attack on Fort McHenry by British troops.

I recorded a reading of the full poem and added some sound effects and music. I hope you enjoy this little bit of American history as much as I did putting it together. Here is the complete text of Key's iconic poem.

The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
’Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— “In God is our trust;”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.


Poem written by Francis Scott Key
Narration and sound design by J.D. Sutter
Music by Cooper Cannell - "Bach Cello Suite No. 1, G Major, Prelude" and "Star Spangled Banner"

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