Oh, and one more thing

One thing that I meant to mention about the derby game the other night – every flat-track derby game that I’ve ever attended opens with the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. The singing of the anthem stood out on Saturday night for two reasons.

First, the guy who sang was really good. He hit all the notes beautifully, which is not easy to do. (Why exactly do we have a national anthem that is notoriously hard to sing?) But he also sang all four verses, which made me smile. Most people I’ve talked to on the subject are unaware that the song has four verses. I only learned that fact because when I was a child, my father made all three of the kids in my family learn the third verse, which is kind of graphic:

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, or 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!

If you haven’t read all four verses, you should do so. It’s a great poem, if a bit on the bloodthirsty side.

4 Responses to “Oh, and one more thing”

  1. Ellen-Mary Says:

    Well, Key was captive on a British ship during the battle that inspired the poem so I guess it makes sense that it’s a bit blood-thirsty.

  2. amanda Says:

    Kimigayo (the thing the use for the Japanese national anthem) doesn’t even have words as far as I know.

  3. bezzie Says:

    And it’s set to the tune of an old drinking song right? Viva la USA!

  4. minnie Says:

    i was gonna say it was set to the tune of a bawdy song, but i like drinking song even better!