Oh Say, Can You See?

Roy Cook: Warrior, US Army (Airborne)

Many American Indian Tribal Nations have their own ‘Flag’ song. These have been sung in honor and recognition for thousands of years. Every so often, this writer is offered an opportunity to open the baggage box of public opinion and examine our posturing and ‘marking’ of territory. There is a bit of clay on the origins of the tune we now use for our National Anthem. This is no detraction of the value and respect it is due and association with all our Military Veterans of the past, today and tomorrow. Open your eyes and minds and let us bring our Nation together with more than lip service.

Nuestro Himno Lyrics

United States of America

Spanish Version of National Anthem

Verso 1
¿Amenece, lo veis?, a la luz de la aurora?
Lo que tanto aclamamos la noche caer?
Sus estrellas sus franjas
flotaban ayer
En el fiero combate
en señal de victoria,
Fulgor de lucha, al paso de la libertada,
Por la noche decían: “!Se va defendiendo!”

!Oh decid! ¿Despliega aún
Voz a su hermosura estrellada,
Sobre tierra de libres,
la bandera sagrada?

For those who don’t ‘habla’ this is the root-origin of the tune that is most famous for its use with Francis Scott Key’s The Star Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the United States.) The earlier political song Adams and Liberty also used the same tune.

                         ANACREONTIC SONG

as Sung at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in the Strand

the Words by
  RALPH TOMLINSON ESQ R, late President of that SOCIETY.

————————Price 6d.————————

Printed by Longman and Broderip. N o26, Cheapside and N o13, Hay Market


To ANACREON in Heav’n, where he sat in full Glee,
A few Sons of Harmony sent a Petition,
That He their Inspirer and Patron wou’d be;
When this Answer arriv’d from the JOLLY OLD GRECIAN
“Voice, Fiddle, and Flute,
“No longer be mute,
“I’ll lend you my Name and inspire you to boot,
“And, besides, I’ll instruct you like me, to intwine
“The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’s Vine.

The news through OLYMPUS immediately flew;
When OLD THUNDER pretended to give himself Airs_
If these Mortals are suffer’d their Scheme to pursue,
The Devil a Goddess will stay above Stairs.
“Hark! already they cry,
“In Transports of Joy
“Away to the Sons of ANACREON we’ll fly,
“And there, with good Fellows, we’ll learn to intwine
“The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

“The YELLOW-HAIR’D GOD and his nine fusty Maids
“From HELICON’S Banks will incontinent flee,
“IDALIA will boast but of tenantless Shades,
“And the bi-forked Hill a mere Desart will be
“My Thunder, no fear on’t,
“Shall soon do it’s Errand,
“And, dam’me! I’ll swinge the Ringleaders I warrant,
“I’ll trim the young Dogs, for thus daring to twine
“The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

APOLLO rose up; and said, “Pr’ythee ne’er quarrel,
“Good King of the Gods with my Vot’ries below:
“Your Thunder is useless_then, shewing his Laurel,
Cry’d. “Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
“Then over each Head
“My Laurels I’ll spread
“So my Sons from your Crackers no Mischief shall dread,
“Whilst snug in their Club-Room, they Jovially twine
“The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

Next MOMUS got up, with his risible Phiz,
And swore with APOLLO he’d cheerfull join_
“The full Tide of Harmony still shall be his,
“But the Song, and the Catch, & the Laugh shall bemine
“Then, JOVE, be not jealous
Of these honest Fellows,
Cry’d JOVE, “We relent, since the Truth you now tell us;
“And swear, by OLD STYX, that they long shall entwine
“The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.

Ye Sons of ANACREON, then, join Hand in Hand;
Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
‘Tis your’s to support what’s so happily plann’d;
You’ve the Sanction of Gods, and the FIAT of JOVE.
While thus we agree
Our Toast let it be.
May our Club flourish happy, united and free!
And long may the Sons of ANACREON intwine
The Myrtle of VENUS with BACCHUS’S Vine.


sic evitabile fulmen roughly translates to “this repels thunderbolts” (It was a common
Roman belief that laurel provided protection from lightning.)

fusty = close or stuffy, old-fashioned, of stale wine
phiz = facial expression
risible = pertaining to laughter
swinge = beat, flog, or chastise

The Anacreontic Song was written for the Anacreontic Society. This London
gentlemen’s club was named after the Greek poet Anacreon (c. 570-485 BC),
who was known for his poems on love and wine. The words are credited to
Ralph Tomlinson (1744-1778), and the tune is commonly attributed to John
Stafford Smith (1750-1836). The tune is most famous for its use with Francis
Scott Key’s The Star Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the United
States.) The earlier political song Adams and Liberty also used the same tune.


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