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Fritz Feds

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Martial Mood

Well, I prepare to face crimlaw in an hour or so. And all this talk about grievous bodily harm has me in a bloodthirsty mood. So, I'm going to mention an interesting article on Volokh on the forgotten verses of the Star Spangled Banner. Personally, I've always been opposed to efforts to wussify our national anthem, to include more "positive aspects of our heritage" like the color of our waves of grain, and the percieved regalness of our strangely colored mountains. Without further ado, here are the three other (real) verses of the SSB.

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, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on 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.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

My personal favorite is the line "their blood has washed out their foul footsteps pollution". I'm in a similar mood. Here is the adapted third verse of the SSB, modified to fit my upcoming crimlaw exam.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the property test and con law's confusion
A place in the class should leave me no more?
Their blood has wiped out their foul footstep's pollution!

Amen and Amen.


Well, someone might as well well post the lyrics that originally accompanied the tune before FSK's poem was set to it while we're at it. I for one can't hear it, but hey, worth looking at. Wikipedia has a nice entry on the history of it all, as if you had time to look at it.

To Anacreon in Heaven
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 would be;
When this answer arrived
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 suffered
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' Vine.

"The Yellow-Haired 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 desert will be.
My Thunder no fear on't,
Shall soon do its errand,
And dam'me I'll swing
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, "Pry'thee ne'er quarrel,
Good King of the Gods,
With My Vot'ries below:
Your Thunder is useless"--
Then showing 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,

While, snug in their clubroom,
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 cheerfully join --
"The full tide of Harmony
Still shall be his,
But the Song, and the Catch,
And the Laugh shall be mine.
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 intwine
The Myrtle of Venus
With Bacchus's Vine."

Ye Sons of Anacreon,
Then join hand in hand;
Preserve Unanimity,
Friendship, and Love!
'Tis yours 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."
Oh, and I for one did not know that FSK was a lawyer. Go figure.

Re: Wussification
The French national anthem is La Marseillaise, a quite bloody tune in its own right. Of course, the revolution that inspired it was very bloody indeed. The fact that it has been adopted by all manner of international leftists and anarchists doesn't really place it very high in my book (lyrics and story here:, but I did have to learn it during my seven or so years of French studies. My point is only this: we should not have a wussier national anthem than France. Then again, I'm also a fan of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Though there are those on the "too violent" side who would wish to replace the Star Spangled Banner with America the Beautiful, I suspect that a sizable portion of them would balk at an actual change, given the many and repeated references to things like God and, even worse, self control (let's face it, Michael Newdow would have an aneurysm).
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