Star Spangled Banner

Sheet Music & Lyrics

"Star Spangled Banner", the American national anthem, was written by Francis Scott Key, a lawyer and amateur poet.

In 1814, the British army attacked Washington, D.C., and burned down the capitol building. After this successful attack, they decided to charge Baltimore, which was nearby.

Baltimore harbor was protected by Fort McHenry, and on that night of September 13, 1814, more than eighteen hundred cannonballs hit the fort.

Francis Scott Key was on a British ship, eight miles away, negotiating the release of an American prisoner of war. He watched the bombardment from the ship, anxiously waiting to see if the American flag would still be flying over the fort. His relief when he saw the flag the next morning drove him to write the lyrics on the back of a letter that was in his pocket.

The words of the poem fit the tune of a song the people already knew. In 1931, Star Spangled Banner became the official American national anthem.

Here Are Your Sheet Music & Lyrics

Star Spangled Banner - Sheet Music (in PDF)
Star Spangled Banner - Lyrics (in PDF)




Star Spangled Banner


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 thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, 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, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh 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 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!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!



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