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Original Text to Melody for U.S. National Anthem


To: Multiple recipients of list EARLYM-L
Subject: RE:Star Spangled Banner: Original words
Date: Thu, Feb 11, 1993 2:08AM

The melody of the Star Spangled Banner was originally
published as The Anacreontic Song as Sung at the Crown and
Anchor Taven in the Strand. The Words by Ralph Tomlinson
Esq late President of that Society. Published by Longman &
Broderip No.26 Cheapside London Price 6d. [1779-80]. The
original words were:

To Anacreon in Heav'n where he sat in full Glee,
A few sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
That he their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arriv'd from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN

Voice, Fiddle, and Flute, no longer be mute,
I'll lend you my Name and in_ _ _spire you to boot,
And, besides, I'll instruct you like me to intwine,
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine

The identity of the composer is disputed. Apparently this
melody was fitted with a number of lyrics before "The Star
Spangled Banner"was composed. A parody appeared in 1793
upon the arrival of the first French minister to the United
States, Citizen Edmond-Charles Genet.

To G***t in New-York, where he reigns in full glee,
Some Anti's have lately prefer'd their petition,
That he their Inspirer and Champion would be;
When this answer arriv'd from this Chief of Sedition.
Of Jay, Wilcocks, and King.
Let us make the world ring.
I'll lend you my Pascal,( so fit for the string,)
And besides I'll instruct you how you may convey,
All Columbia's Glory and Freedom Away.

The news through Columbia immediately flew,
Pacificus rose, and thus vented his cares:
If these traitors are suffer'd their schemes to pursue,
Like France we shall soon be a nation of bears:
Hark! already they cry,
In transport of joy,
Away to G***t let us instantly fy--
And this Chief will assist us, that we may convey,
All Columbia's Glory and Freedom away."


Then Freedom rose up, with her cap and her spear,
And swore, by Columbia she ever would stand,
That her sons should receive not a[n] insult nor sneer,
While her laws should drive Anarchy out of the land:
Then while transports resound,
And Discord's fast bound,
And American brows are with laurels hung round,
We free and united, our laws will obay--
And rive from Columbia, the Faction away.
Below are possibly the first patriotic words to the air.

SONG For the Fourth of July, 1795, The Anniversary of
American Independence (Sung at an elegant Entertainment
given by James Munroe, the American Minister at Paris, in
the presence of a numerous party of French and American
Citizens, convened at his house, to celebrate the day.
Written at Paris, 2nd July, 1795, by a Citizen of the United

In climes where fair Freedom, secure from her foes,
Sees millions who bow at her shrine with devotion.
Where vetUran partriots in laurelUd repose
Lament to see arrogance crimson the ocean:
Where order pervades

The mountains and glades,
Where Columbia reclines in her own native shades,
Hark! Millions of Freemen with joy hail the day
Which rescuUd their Country from TyrannyUs sway!

This material comes from: Music For Patriots, Politicans And
Presidents By Vera Brodsky Lawrence;
Macmillan Publishing, New York 1975. Other songs to the
same melody reproduced in this book are:

Adams and Liberty (1798) 9 Verses
The Battle of North Point (1814) 5 verses
Jefferson and Liberty (1813) 4 verses
The Union Must and Shall Be Preserved (1862) 4 verses

on June 11, 2007 10:00pm
The melody is now attributed to the blind Irish harper Turlough O Carolan (1670-1738). It seems as though John Stafford Smith merely adapted an already existing tune for the Anacreontic Society's boozy ballad.