The Star Spangled Banner is the nickname of our flag, but it’s also the title of our national anthem. What should we know about how our national song came to be, and what makes it unique among national anthems around the world?
Joining me today from Washington, DC, is author and history consultant Tim Grove. Tim holds a graduate degree in history and an undergraduate degree in journalism. His career has included positions at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, and the National Museum of American History, which is home to the Star-Spangled Banner. Tim writes history nonfiction and his most recent book is Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem.
- How the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner came to be written
- What we should know about Francis Scott Key, and why he had a close-up view of the action in this battle.
- The backstory of the music that the poem was set to and why it was an ironic match.
- The flag that inspired Key.
- When The Star Spangled Banner became our national anthem.
- Unlike most national anthems, ours tells a story of a historic event (vs. a song of prayers for blessings or proclaiming values of courage, freedom).
- Tim’s author website
- Tim’s author Facebook page: @timgroveauthor
- Tim blogs at HistoryPlaces.
- Tim’s most recent book is Star-Spangled: The Story of a Flag, a Battle, and the American Anthem.
- Other books by Tim can be viewed here.
- If you enjoyed this conversation, you may also enjoy:
- Ep. 15: Veterans Day Tribute + Role of Music in the Military: with Jari Villanueva, Taps Historian, USAF
- Ep. 25: MLK Day: Role of Spirituals within African American Culture, with award-winning musician and educator Bruce Henry
- Ep. 30: Baseball & organ – the sound of spring fever, with MN Twins organist Sue Nelson
- Ep. 43: Memorial Day: A combat veteran tells his story and shares how music is serving those who serve our country, with CreatiVets’ Richard Casper
- Ep. 52: In honor of the “2020” Olympics: The MUSICAL Olympic event, with champion equestrian Betsy Van Dyke
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As a long-time Washington, DC, resident, Tim has been to many July 4th concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra on the lawn of the Capitol building. He describes some of these events, how there’s always a different version of The Star Spangled Banner, and a particularly spectacular rendition of The Star Spangled Banner sung by Sandi Patty in 1986 (during the rededication of the Statue of Liberty).
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