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THIS IS OUR ANTHEM

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By Michelle Malkin  •  April 29, 2006 09:54 AM

In response to the “Nuestro Himno” illegal alien anthem nonsense, I thought it would be nice to celebrate the history of our national anthem–instead of rewriting it to pander to ethnic grievance-mongers who don’t respect Amerian laws or traditions.

Via Wikipedia, here’s a copy of Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript of the “Star-Spangled Banner” poem:

fskey.jpg

And here’s one of five copies that his brother-in-law printed up as a broadside titled, “Defence of Fort McHenry:”

fskey002.jpg

From the Library of Congress website, here’s a copy of the first printed edition of the anthem combining words and music — one of only ten copies known to exist:

fskey003.jpg

And the text:

(The Defense of Fort McHenry)
September 20, 1814
By Francis Scott Key

Oh, 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 rockets’ 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 wiped out their foul footstep’s 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.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-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 forever shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

***

Conservative blogger Josue Sierra addresses Latino lefties:

The pundits on the side of the illegal alien strikes would tell you that this song is all about Latinos voicing their love for America. That is allows Latinos to identify with their adopted country. Hogwash! These do NOT represent the millions of legal Caribbean, Central and South American immigrants and political refugees in this country. For every one of those faces you see on your TV, there are hundreds that are staying home, going to work, taking English lessons, fighting in our military, protecting our borders, and just being Americans. Thousands of us who cringe as we imagine the “image” these rallies are creating in most Americans about the true grateful Latino immigrant who’s only desire is to continue living and being an American.

If Latinos want to express their love for all things American, then learn English, recite the pledge in English, and sing the national anthem in English. Adopt our values. Learn our traditions. Become one of us.

NYTimes coverage:

Adam Kidron, chief executive of the label that released the new version of the anthem, Urban Box Office Records, said in a statement that the song helped those who did not speak English “to fully understand the character of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ the American flag and the ideals of freedom that they represent.”

The song, which includes some departures from the original lyrics, was distributed to Spanish-language radio stations, many of which have been encouraging huge numbers of protesters to take to the streets in recent weeks. Another large action is scheduled for many cities on Monday, when some immigrant rights groups are calling for a nationwide economic boycott.

The anthem has fed into a backlash on talk radio, the Internet, cable television and Capitol Hill, with conservatives complaining that it was encouraging the very cultural balkanization that they have feared all along.

Mr. Bush’s comments were striking for a president who has embraced Spanish in his political life. Mr. Bush grew up in Midland, Tex., alongside Spanish-speaking children. As a politician who became governor and ran for president aiming to build a broader Republican coalition, he seized every chance to win over the fast-growing Hispanic population.

“He recognized that Texas was rapidly becoming a state that would have more Hispanics and more African-Americans than it would Anglos,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, who plans to introduce a resolution on Monday “to remind the country” why the national anthem should be always sung in English.

Mr. Bush took aim at Hispanics as an important voting bloc during the last two president campaigns. Mr. Bush has starred in his own Spanish-language advertising, and he was the first president to give his weekly radio address in Spanish. (The Spanish wire service Agencia EFE once said he spoke the language poorly, “but with great confidence.”)

Mr. Bush ventured into a little Spanish on Friday, using the Spanish pronunciation for the smugglers known as “coyotes” while outlining the need for stricter border enforcement.

***

Related:

Fly our flag high
Honoring Old Glory 2005

Previous:

The anthem and the White House website
Your new national anthem (full audio of Nuestro Himno linked)
Whose national anthem?
The illegal alien anthem

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