July 4, 2007

Star Spangled Blues

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

Back-to-back, chicken shack

Robert J. Allison noted in The Crescent Obscured: The United States and the Muslim world, 1776-1815 that the early version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" contained lyrics saying that the banner obscured the crescent as heathens were killed. More recent books after 2001 have a different bent, so many people might not know many of the facts. Someone interviewed Allison at Newsradio 1040 WHO, if anyone wants to listen.

More on the background of the Tripolitan War and this earlier song is at Triplopia, which adds: "This 'Song' was even set to the same music as 'The Defense of Fort McHenry' later called 'The Star-Spangled Banner' -- the English drinking song, 'To Anacraeon in Heaven'! So 'The Star-Spangled Banner' has its roots not in an Anglo-American war at all, but in a war with an Islamic country, so it’s interesting to see how that relates to current events."

This is from an 1805 version of the Star-Spangled Banner:

Columbians! a band of your brothers behold,
In the conflict resistless each toil they endured,
'Till their foes fled dismayed from the war's desolation;
And pale beamed the crescent, its splendor obscured
By the light of the star-spangled flag of our nation.
Where each radiant star gleamed a meteor of war,
And the turbaned heads bowed to its terrible glare,
Now mixed with the olive the laurel shall wave,
And form a bright wreath for the brow of the brave.

Our fathers who stand on the summit of fame,
Shall exultantly hear of their sons the proud story,
How their young bosoms glowed with the patriot flame,
How they fought, how they fell, in the blaze of their glory.
How triumphant they rode o'er the wondering flood,
And stained the blue waters with Infidel blood;
How mixed with the olive the laurel did wave,
And, formed a bright wreath for the brows of the brave.

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