THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Many Americans think of Francis Scott Key as the composer of the Star
Spangled Banner, but what many don't know is that while he did write the lyrics, he did not write the
melody. The melody was taken from a popular English song at the time called The Anacreontic Song (or
sometimes called To Anacreon in Heaven) which was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th
century gentlemen's club in London.
It is generally believed that the specific individual who wrote the melody was John Stafford
Smith, one of the society members. The melody became very popular in America during the war of 1812 and was used
in the Star Spangled Banner and several other patriotic songs of the time. Although the
Star Spangled Banner remained a popular patriotic song, it didn't become our national anthem until 1931.
Before that, other songs had served as the de-facto national anthem at different times in our history.
INTERESTING STAR SPANGLED BANNER BOOKS
The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner (Graphic
The Star-Spangled Banner (Reading Rainbow Book)
The Writing of the Star-Spangled Banner (Landmark Events in American
Francis Scott Key: Author of the Star Spangled Banner; What Else He Was and