The Star Spangled Banner
It is no coincidence that Masons are patriotic men! All of us have made solemn promises to respect God, and do what we can to help our country, our family and our fellow man. Our Masonic obligations (sometimes called Oaths) are our “pledge” to carry out those meaningful and honorable promises.
It was in a similar fashion that our National Anthem uses lyrics and melody to convey mental images of Bravery, Perseverance, Honor, Loyalty and Solemnity before man; and above all: a Gratitude to almighty God for the blessings He has bestowed.
These days, it is a rare event for some performers to sing the National Anthem totally and accurately from memory. I would much rather they have the written lyrics in front of them, rather than do a choppy and sloppy rendition. Most people do not know all the verses to “The Star-Spangled Banner” which are:
“O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets 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 of the free and the home of the brave?
“On the shore dimly seen, thro’ the mist of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’re the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the first gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
‘Tis the Star-Spangled Banner: O, long may it wave
O’re 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 was wash’d 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 free-men shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation:
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d 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!”
RW Jay Austin