Friday, July 2, 2010

Rockets Red Glare

I was tired this evening... dozing in the recliner with the laptop glowing. I know that never happens to anyone else, but my life is SO exciting that I just don't make it through most evenings without nodding off. I woke up with full intentions of going straight to bed, but alas, the television was on the History Channel. I don't know why I was there, it's usually HGTV or a rerun of NCIS. Not this time.
The War of 1812, the battle of Ft McHenry, and the battle of New Orleans helped define the vision the United States had of itself and maintains today.
Two pieces of music stand out because of that war. First is our national anthem. It was written by Francis Scott Keye after that battle. He was being held aboard a British ship, and was watching the 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry all day and through the night. When dawn came, the flag was still raised over the fort and the Britsh left. They had given up that part of the fight but still pressed on to take New Orleans.
Another song was written about that battle, written much later and without the same reverence.
So here's the Battle of New Orleans:

And our National Anthem: