Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of "The Star Spangled Banner"
The 2 CD set of quality recordings tells the history of the Banner from broadside ballad to national anthem.
Disc 1 traces the exuberant melody — To Anacreon in Heaven — from London in 1775/76 to Francis Scott Key aboard ship in the Chesapeake Bay. Disc 2 explores how Key’s increasingly popular song becomes the one and only choice as the nation’s anthem. Many listeners will be surprised to hear the original upbeat “victory song” 1814 musical arrangement of Key’s anthem, not to mention the many alternate lyrics that explain the drinking song misnomer of the anthem and explore how the song reshaped American identity through political protest.
Musical variety is introduced through a variety of ensembles (men’s, women’s, and mixed choruses, tenor, baritone and soprano solos), differing accompanying instruments (harpsichord, fortepiano, and piano), plus instrumental variations on the anthem tune for piano and organ. Related songs such as the de facto nineteenth century US anthem “Hail Columbia” and the African American Hymn (Lift Every Voice).