The Star-Spangled Banner

national anthem of the United States of America

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. Francis Scott Key wrote the words to it in 1814, after seeing British ships attacking Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland during the War of 1812.

An 1814 copy of the Star-Spangled Banner
The flag from the song.

The words are set to the music of a British drinking song called "To Anacreon in Heaven". The song has 4 stanzas, but only the first one is usually sung. [1] [2]

Lyrics change

Although the United States does not have an official language, English is the most used language in everyday life; thus, the official lyrics are in English. However, through the years, "The Star-Spangled Banner" has been translated into other languages. These languages are spoken by people living in the United States, who trace their roots to other parts of the globe. These languages include Spanish, German, Yiddish, Czech, Polish, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Arabic.

It has also been translated into languages spoken by native Americans, such as Navajo. A fairly well-known Navajo version called "Dah Naatʼaʼí Sǫʼ bił Sinil" was translated by singer and former beauty pageant titleholder Radmilla Cody.

English original change

The full poem consists of four stanzas with a total of thirty-two lines. But usually, just the first stanza is sung and is the most well-known among Americans.

O 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 rocket's 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, 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, 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 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.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry 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!

Spanish version change

Three versions of "The Star-Spangled Banner" have been translated into the Spanish language. The first one was done by Francis Haffkine Snow for the United States Bureau of Education.[3][4][5][6]

The second one was done by a Peruvian American musician named Clotilde Arias, for a competition held by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a part of his Good Neighbor policy in an effort to promote American ideals in Latin America. This musician was the winner of this contest and her Spanish version was accepted by the United States Department of State in 1946.[7][8][9]

Another version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in Spanish is a single by many recording artists and singer-songwriters. It is probably the most well-known version. This version is titled "Nuestro Himno" (meaning "Our Anthem"), written by Adam Kidron and Eduardo Reyes.[10] Kidron started the whole idea because he wanted to show support for Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. In 2006, a change to U.S. immigration policy ticked off many people in the United States. "Nuestro Himno" was created in response to this change. The song was released on April 28, 2006 for their album Somos Americanos (meaning "We are Americans"). Many artists including Andy Andy, Autoridad de la Sierra, Aventura, Ivy Queen, Wyclef Jean, Kalimba, Kany, LDA, N Klabe, Patrulla 81, Pitbull, Ponce Carlos, Rayito, Reik, Frank Reyes, Tony Sunshine, Olga Tañón, Gloria Trevi, Voz a Voz and Yemọja were involved in the making of this song. It was recorded in many cities including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Juan, Mexico City, and Madrid. The first verse is based on the first verse of the version by Francis Haffkine Snow in 1909.[3] Although it quickly gained popularity, there have been some people who disliked this idea. Such people included then-president George W. Bush, who did not approve of foreigners changing the national anthem into a language other than English,[11][12][13] as well as by a relative of Francis Scott Key—the original author of the national anthem.[14]

"La bandera de las estrellas" (1919) "El pendón estrellado" (1946) "Nuestro Himno" (2006)

Amanece: ¿no veis a la luz de la aurora
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer?
Sus estrellas, sus franjas, flotaban ayer,
En el fiero combate en señal de victoria.
Fulgor de cohetes, de bombas estruendo,
Por la noche decían: «¡Se va defendiendo!»
¡Oh, decid! ¿Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada
Sobre tierra de libres la bandera sagrada?

En la costa lejana que apenas blanquea
Donde yace nublada la hueste feroz
Sobre aquel precipicio que elevase atroz
¡Oh, decidme! ¿Qué es eso que en la brisa ondea?
Se oculta y flamea, en el alba luciendo
Reflejada en la mar, donde va resplandeciendo
¡Aún allí desplegó su hermosura estrellada
Sobre tierra de libres la bandera sagrada!

¡Oh, así sea siempre, en lealtad defendamos
Nuestra tierra natal contra el torpe invasor!
A Dios quien nos dio paz, la libertad y honor,
Nos mantuvo nación con fervor bendigamos.
Nuestra causa es el bien, y por eso triunfamos
Siempre fue nuestro lema: «En Dios Confiamos».
¡Y desplegará así su hermosura estrellada
Sobre tierra de libres la bandera sagrada!

¡Mirad!, ¿Podéis ver al sutil clarear
lo que erguido se alzó cuando el Sol se ocultaba?
¡Y sus franjas y estrellas en el rudo luchar,
sobre recio baluarte gallardo ondulaba!
Y la bomba al lanzar su rojiza explosión,
en la noche dio a ver que allí estaba el pendón.
¿El Pendón Estrellado tremola feliz
en la tierra del valor, en libre país?

En la costa, velado en brumosa extensión,
Donde hueste enemiga en silencio reposa,
¿Qué es aquello que ondula sobre alzado peñón,
que la brisa al jugar va a mecer caprichosa?
Ora irradia a la luz del temprano alborear,
ora en gloria en las aguas se ve reflejar:
¡El Pendón Estrellado tremola feliz
en la patria del valor, en libre país!

Amanece: ¿lo ves a la luz de la aurora
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche al caer?
Sus estrellas, sus franjas, flotaban ayer,
En el fiero combate en señal de victoria.
Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertad,
Por la noche decían: «¡Se va defendiendo!»
¡Oh, decid! ¿Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada
Sobre tierra de libres la bandera sagrada?

Sus estrellas, sus franjas, la libertad, somos iguales.
Somos hermanos, es nuestro himno.
En el fiero combate, en señal de victoria,
Fulgor de lucha… (mi gente ¡sigue luchando!)
…Al paso de la libertad (¡Ya es tiempo de romper las cadenas!)
Por la noche decían: «¡Se va defendiendo!»
¡Oh, decid! ¿Despliega aún su hermosura estrellada
Sobre tierra de libres la bandera sagrada?

German version change

In 1861, a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was translated by German American poet and immigrant named Niclas Müller.[15]

O, sagt, könnt ihr seh'n bei der Dämmerung Schein,
Was so stolz wir begrüßten in Abendroths Gluten?
Dess Streiffen und Sterne, durch Kämpfender Reih'n,
Auf dem Walle wir sahen so wenniglich fluten;
Die Raketen am Ort und die Bomben vom Fort,
Sie zeigten bei Nacht, daß die Flagge noch dort.
O sagt, ob das Banner mit Sternen besäet
Über'm Lande der Frei'n und der Tapfern noch weht?

Am Strand, kaum geseh'n durch den Nebel jetzt noch,
Wo des Feinds stolzer Haufen in Schweigsamkeit waltet;
Was ist's, daß der Wind, auf dem Thurme so hoch,
Wenn er günstig d'ran bläst, halb verdeckt, halb entfaltet?
Und jetzt faßt es den Strahl, wie er fällt in das Thal,
Und glanzet in Herrlichkeit jetzt auf dem Pfahl.
O das ist das Banner mit Sternen besäet,
Das noch über den Frei'n und den Tapferen weht!

Und wo ist der Schwarm, der vermaß sich so sehr,
Daß des Krieges Gewühl und Verwirrung der Schlachten,
Kein Land, keine Heimath gewähre uns mehr?
Ihr Blut hat verwischet ihr freventlich Trachten.
Und umsonst hat gesucht sklav und Miethling die Flucht
Beim Schrecken des Kampfs und der tödtlichen Wucht.
Und siegreich das Banner mit Sternen besäet,
Über'm Lande der Frei'n und der Tapfern noch weht!

Und so soll es sein stets, wo Männer die Hand
Sich reichen, entgegen des Aufruhrs Gewalten;
Mit Frieden und Sieg mag gesegnet das Land
Dann preisen die Macht, die uns einig erhalten;
Denn der Sieg muß uns sein, wo die Sache so rein;
Und das sei der Wahlspruch: "Auf Gott trau allein!"
Und siegreich das Banner mit Sternen besäet
Über'm Lande der Frei'n und der Tapfern noch weht!

French version change

A version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was translated into French by a Cajun named David Émile Marcantel.[16]

O dites, voyez-vous
Dans la lumière du jour
Le drapeau qu'on saluait
À la tombée de la nuit ?
Dont les trois couleurs vives
Pendant la dure bataille
Au-dessus des remparts
Inspiraient notre pays.
Et l'éclair des fusées,
Des bombes qui explosaient,
Démontraient toute la nuit
Que le drapeau demeurait.
Est-ce que la bannière étoilée
Continue toujours à flotter
Au-dessus d'une nation brave,
Terre de la liberté ?

Navajo version change

A Navajo version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" was performed by model and singer Radmilla Cody. It is titled "Dah Naatʼaʼí Sǫʼ bił Sinil" in the Navajo language, under her first album Within the Four Directions.[17][18]

Yá shoo danółʼį́į́ʼ
Hayoołkááł biyiʼdę́ę́ʼ
Baa dahwiiʼniihgo átʼé
Dah naatʼaʼí éí yéigo nihił nilíinii.

Noodǫ́ǫ́z dóó bizǫʼ disxǫs
Naabaahii yitaayá
Bitsʼą́ą́ honiyéeʼgo deiníłʼį́
Nihichʼįʼ ínidída ndi baa ííníidlį́

Áh, hoolʼáágóó bineʼ neidą́
Báhádzid dahólǫ́ǫ ndi
Éí yeeʼ bee tʼáá sih hasin
Tʼóó nihá dah siłtzoos ndi

Tʼóó shį́į́ éí sǫʼ bił sinilgo
Dah naatʼá, áh hoolʼáa doo
Nihikéyah bikʼihígíí
Kʼad hózhǫ́ náhásdlį́į́ʼ

Yiddish version change

A Yiddish version titled "Di Shtern-Batsirte Fon" was translated by a Jewish American poet named Dr. Avrom Aisen, on the hundredth anniversary of Scott Key's death. It was published in 1943 by the Educational Alliance located New York City.[19]

Samoan version change

Samoan is a language spoken in American Samoa, the American part of the Pacific island of Samoa.

Aue! Se'i e vaai, le malama o ataata mai
Na sisi a'e ma le mimita, i le sesega mai o le vaveao
O ai e ona tosi ma fetu, o alu a'e i taimi vevesi tu
I luga o 'Olo mata'utia, ma loto toa tausa'afia
O roketi mumu fa'aafi, o pomu ma fana ma aloi afi
E fa'amaonia i le po atoa, le fu'a o lo'o tu maninoa
Aue! ia tumau le fe'ilafi mai, ma agiagia pea
I eleele o sa'olotoga, ma nofoaga o le au totoa.

Media change


References change

  1. "NMAH". Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  2. Brockell, Gillian (18 October 2020). "The ugly reason 'The Star-Spangled Banner' didn't become our national anthem for a century". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 September 2023.
  3. 3.0 3.1 La bandera de las estrellas. G. Schirmer, New York, NY, 1919.
    "Spanish translation by Francis Haffkine Snow. This version of the song was prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Education."
  4. Letra de Himno de estados unidos en español de Himnos De Países Archived 2017-06-02 at the Wayback Machine. En Parranda.
  5. himno de usa - Ensayos universitarios - 1718 Palabras. Buenas Tareas.
  6. "Himno de estados unidos en español: Himno nacional - La Bandera de Estrellas". Archived from the original on 2023-06-04. Retrieved 2023-06-04.
  7. From star-spangled to estrellado: US Anthem translator celebrated (2014-09-18). Sparrow, Thomas. BBC Mundo.
  8. «The Star-Spangled Banner ~ Not Lost in Translation: The Life of Clotilde Arias | Albert H. Small Documents Gallery | Smithsonian NMAH».
  9. Clotilde Arias honored for Spanish version of Star-Spangled Banner (2012-10-12). Baumann, Susana. VOXXI News.
  10. Spanish 'Banner' draws protest (2006-04-28). USA Today.
  11. Billboard Bits: ‘Nuestro Himno,’ Cracker, Marty Stuart. Billboard.
  12. Bush tells immigrants to learn English (2006-05-05). The Washington Times.
  13. Bush Says Anthem Should Be in English (2006-04-28). Holusha, John. The New York Times.
  14. Spanish 'Star Spangled Banner' -- Touting the American Dream or Offensive Rewrite? (2006-04-28). Avila, Jim. ABC News.
  15. The Star-Spangled Banner / O say can you see.
  16. La Bannière Étoilée, l'hymne national américain (The Star Spangled Banner) (Trad., P.D., French words David Émile Marcantel, Vocal arrangement Jeanette Aguillard).
  17. Dah Naatʼaʼí Sǫʼ bił Sinil lyrics
  18. Dah Naatʼaʼí Sǫʼ bił Sinil — Navajo Wikipedia]
  19. The Star Spangled Banner IN YIDDISH Translated by Dr. Avrom Aisen (Asen). Courtesy of the Educational Alliance, New York, New York (1943). The Museum of Family History website.

Other websites change