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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Monday, July 03, 2006

The Star Spangled Banner

Recently I was given an opportunity to explain to my eldest daughter just what the 4th of July was all about...and, why on earth do we endager our lives and property with massive quantities of small explosives. Well, the latter question was a bit more difficult, but I theorized that besides the celebratoy nature of things that go boom and make pretty lights, that it might also be a reminder of the well known line: "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air" by which Francis Scott Key was able to see that "our flag was still there." (Which I also had to explain meant we hadn't surrendered.)

And with that, an interest arose with regard to our National Anthem, which I dutifully sung for her. However, like the VAST VAST majority of Americans, I only know the first stanza. I can still recall being amazed when my friend who attended West Point told me that he had to memorize the ENTIRE song, which is as follows:

O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

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.

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 washed out their foul footsteps’ 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.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must when our cause it is just
And this be our motto: “In God is our Trust.”
And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


And, if you'd like to hear it, the National Anthem Project has numerous versions available, including some Karoke type movies to go along with them. However, I didn't see any that offered the entire song. However, a rather unique (and cool) rendition, which hits MOST of the verses, is available by Roger McGuinn (formerly of 'The Byrds') HERE.

Have a fun and safe 4th everyone. God bless America.

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 5:04 PM [+]
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1 comments


1 Comments:

I did actually make a point of memorizing the fourth stanza, I liked it so much. What your friend said, about having to memorize all four stanzas -- that's cool. I'm glad to know that.

Oh, and I didn't know, until a couple of years ago, that there's a *second* stanza to the Marine Corps Hymn. Don't recall how it goes, though.

By Blogger Meg, at 1:41 AM  

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