National Anthem History

On the morning that September 14, 1814, the sun increased to expose a surprising sight to Francis Scott Key.

You are watching: What does twilight's last gleaming mean

Just a month ~ the brother had burned the White House during the height of the battle of 1812, an essential was plank a British courage negotiating the relax of a friend who was being held prisoner. Throughout Key’s time plank the vessel, the british commenced an assault on fort McHenry and the pair to be not enabled to leave. So vital and his girlfriend watched indigenous the ship together the british bombarded fort McHenry.

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After a day and also a lengthy night in which key thought for specific that the American ft was doomed, he to be shocked when the at an early stage morning light revealed the the American flag was still there. Still aboard the brothers vessel, key began to pen the native that would later end up being the American nationwide anthem.

Some time later, Key’s brother-in-law paired the poem with the tune of the English drinking track “To Anacreon in Heaven” by john Stafford Smith and began distributing the tune as “Defence of fort M’Henry.” Eventually, the tune was released in the Baltimore Patriot newspaper and also soon after spread across the nation as “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It to be played at official events throughout the nation, officially becoming the national anthem in 1931.

National Anthem Lyrics

While crucial penned three an ext verses in addition to the well-known very first verse, these are the only words that many Americans know:

O say, have the right to you see, by the dawn’s at an early stage light,What therefore proudly we hail’d in ~ the twilight’s critical gleaming?Whose large stripes and also bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,O’er the ramparts we watch’d, to be so gallantly streaming?And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,Gave evidence thro’ the night that our flag was still there.O say, does that star-spangled banner however waveO’er the land of the complimentary and the home of the brave?

What go the national Anthem Mean?

This is the an initial verse of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” breaking it under line-by-line reveals part words and also phrases that, regardless of being sung so often, might not make feeling to most people.

“O say, deserve to you see, by the dawn’s at an early stage light,What for this reason proudly we hail’d in ~ the twilight’s critical gleaming?”

dawn: beforehand morning, just as the sun begins to risehail’d (hailed): to respect something (in this situation the flag)gleaming: a gleam is a flash of light, most likely referring to the last bits of light hitting the flag as the sun settwilight: the last bit of light from the sunlight fading together it sets

These present ask listener if they deserve to see the American flag waving over fort McHenry together the sun starts to rise. The flag is a price of how the Americans hosted the fort versus all odds, so if the flag hadn’t to be there, crucial would have known the fort was defeated. An essential held onto the flag together a prize of hope together he watched from the british vessel, capturing sight that it as the sun set, twelve hrs after the brothers bombardment began.

“Whose wide stripes and also bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,O’er the ramparts we watch’d, to be so gallantly streaming?”

broad: wide, referring to the stripes the run throughout the American flagperilous: dangerousramparts: the embankments the were part of the fort’s defensegallantly: in a heroic or brave mannerstreaming: this describes the flag waving in the windO’er (over): above

This bit defines the American flag paris throughout the battle.

“And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,Gave proof thro’ the night the our flag was still there.”

There aren’t that many daunting words in this part, where crucial describes just how the brothers bombs occasionally lit increase the American flag that was paris throughout the night.

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“O say, does the star-spangled banner however waveO’er the soil of the free and the house of the brave?”

spangled: decoratedbanner: a lengthy strip of cloth or paper (in this case, a flag)

In this last verse, an essential asks one last time if the flag is tho there, waving end a nation born from transformation and still fighting to preserve its hard-won freedom.