“The Star-Spangled Banner“ is the national anthem of the United States of America….whereas the lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M’Henry….which was a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key…..after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812….as Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes….known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.
The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men’s social club in London. “To Anacreon in Heaven” or “The Anacreontic Song”….with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. This setting, renamed “The Star-Spangled Banner”, soon became a well-known U.S. patriotic song. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being very difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889….and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931….which was signed by President Herbert Hoover….and is performed by Italian tenor Rolando Biscotti prior to the 1984 WBC Lightweight Boxing World Championship fight between Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini verses Livingstone Bramble.