Star-Spangled Banner

While looking up someone singing the original “To Anacreon in Heaven” on YouTube, there were some suggested videos about the Star-Spangled Banner that suggested it was hard to sing mainly because of the melody.

But that’s not why people forget the lyrics so often. That’s due to the rather convoluted grammar, which I took the trouble to work out fully.

Whoops, looks like I missed two "the"s on the last line. Not that it matters, since that’s not the hard part.

There are many things I do for fun. Diagramming sentences? Not so much.
But more power to you.

“Invalid source image”. (two different browsers, Chrome and Safari)

Link to the original article, for those who are curious:

Yeah, no image here, either. Just a blank Photobucket page, with an invalid image on it.

I do note that Photobucket is not the best of image providers anymore, becoming much more restrictive than they were previously. They seem like they’re having financial troubles. You may want to try something like Imgur.

Anyone else have trouble getting the drinking song lyrics to truly fit? Only the last two lines fit perfectly each time.

Were the notes altered to fit the rhythm of the poem?

Star Spangled Banner?

Even Cecil should know the original title given by Key was Defence of Fort M’Henry.

Although I do see the problem with the British spelling of “defense” in a patriotic American song.

I’m not surprised. I thought I tried it in a new browser, but then I remembered it was something else I tried. Oh well. I’m lazy and not going to bother trying to get it to work because I spent all my effort figuring out how the grammar of the lyrics is supposed to work. Feel free to criticize me for whatever. I don’t care.

M‘Henry. The left single quote ‘ is a common period printer’s trick to substitute for a lacking [sup]c[/sup].

And Webster didn’t publish until 1828.

Um, I believe that the song really is a couple of questions, not statements as your diagram has made them out to be (I think). Maybe the wording can be made a little more clear with a some judicious paraphrasing.

"Oh, say, can you see at first dawn what we so proudly hailed at last twilight? The light of the explosions of the battle showed that the flag was still there for as long as we could see anything.

“[And now that it’s been awhile] does that flag still wave – is this still the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Well, yeah, the questions are rhetorical, and anyhow, it’s hard to sing a question clearly – and nobody tries anyhow. And the poetry makes that song. IMHO.

But the sentence diagramming was a good job regardless.

Comment on the original article - the “Sons of Anachreon” mentioned at the now-defunct Glyfix link were not English nor an English group - they were a primarily vocal musical group working the Great Dickens Fair in northern California as well as a number of smaller shows throughout the state.

Nice guys, but not actually English. Definitely drinkers, though.

I was under the impression that one diagrammed questions the same way as one would the corresponding statements. Although certainly I basically made up my own rules as I went along with the few traces of memory about doing in grade school. They certainly don’t get into stuff as nastily complicated as this then.

Verse two goes on to answer the question.

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, O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The first time I tried it, redirection on the photobucket site failed, giving me a faulty URL. I repaired that, and waited for a while. It took a while to load. Next time it redirected ok, and after it had loaded the first time I could see it without problems.

I never learned sentence diagraming. I’ve seen the words here, but really had no idea what it meant. It wasn’t covered up to 4th grade when I was a kid in Arizona, and in Aus it’s not done at all.

It’s one of those “There’s only one right way to teach” issues. In practical fact, some people find them boring and ridiculous, but I’ve also known highly literate people to shout, on discovering Reed-Kellogg diagrams in their 20s, “Why wasn’t I told about this before?!”

If you need more help with SSB, Isaac Asimov’s original article “All Four Stanzas” from F&SF can be found here (page down for text and scans).

It is reprinted by permission of F&SF. An edited version has been circulating for years.

Thank you very much for posting this! I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen the edited version before now.

As the author of the blog states:

One part that was cut out of the edited version was a 1300 word summary of Asimov’s life and his work, which includes a thorough discussion of his love of history. He also noted two books that he had recently written at the time of the article (which heartbreakingly turned out to be the year before he died), including Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery and Asimov’s Chronology of the World.

While Asimov is my favorite writer of all time, I haven’t read everything he wrote by any stretch* – and somehow I missed these two books. Anyway, I just bought used copies online, along with Asimov’s Guide to the Bible and Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare (both of which I’ve also been meaning to read for years).
*although I did read just about everything of his I could get my hands on in my high school library and local college library back in the '80s.

Fixed the link: