You may stand to sing it now, but in its earliest form America's national anthem was more of a tune you got tipsy and stumbled around to.

The Star Spangled Banner might be intended as the melodic representation of freedom and bravery for American citizens to unify over while singing it, but its history is a very foreign one linked to one of the United States’ former enemies, England. The tune to which the very-American lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner are sung belong to a song with roots dating back to 1776 and London’s Anacreontic Society. The members of this gentleman’s music club knew it as their organization’s anthem, “To Anacreon in Heaven”, and would  sing it during their meetings that were held every other Wednesday in various bars and taverns across the city. The words of the song were obviously different, but members of the Anacreontic Society would stand while their anthem played, holding hands and singing along together.


Story by Jay Moon
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