The Star-Spangled Banner

music Star-Spangled Banner

Several years ago our family vacation included a trip to the top of Pike's Peak. Beside one of the beautiful overlooks are the words which were in a small part inspired by that view. 

view in Star-Spangled Banner

Sunday was the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner which was written by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814. My children are studying American history this year, and I plan to share this video with them today as we discuss this song and the war when it was written. Our country has a Christian heritage. "The faith of our fathers" and our freedom was worth fighting for. There is so much more to this song than one scenic overlook. 

Can you and your children sing the Star-Spangled Banner by memory? Below are all four stanzas of our national anthem.

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!

Rachael at Adventures in Wunderland compiled these related flag activities and recipes

Carolyn Kisloski shared this unit about teaching the Star-Spangled Banner

I also found this vintage song sheet from Duke University and violin sheet music that I'll have the girls play for us. 

The Smithsonian has even more Star-Spangled Banner resourcesI'd love to go back and spend a few days there with my family. 


  1. Wow I had no idea that this song was written 200 years ago! How awesome! Love your blog!

    blessings xoxo


  2. I always enjoy when our family can visit historical places like this one. It really brings it all 'to life' in a way that a book or video can't.

    1. Me too, Laura. Historical field trips are educational and fun.

  3. Oh man, too bad you're not in Baltimore! We just had a HUGE event celebrating it.

    1. That would have been exciting to experience. We have our calendars marked for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans next January. Preparations are already started for it.

  4. Mariel, history is one of those subjects I didn't enjoy as a student. With my kids, though, I'm learning along with them. We all enjoy it.


comments from friends: