Saturday, December 27, 2008

God Save My Country, 'Tis of Thee?

Am I the only person out there who didn't realize that "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" and "God Save the Queen" were/are the same tune?

My daughter pointed this out to me last week after having learned "God Save the Queen" which they will play in London on New Year's Day and then I noticed it again this morning on Pigtown Design.

Apparently, this was intentional. And changing the lyrics, specifically the very last lyrics from "God Save the Queen" to "Let Freedom Ring" was the equivalent of a middle finger to the Crown.

That's not all we stole in the music department. In my few minutes of research on this, I found that apparently Francis Scott Key did not just whip our National Anthem out of the recesses of his mind, unless his mind was preoccupied by a British Drinking Song, "The Anacreontic Song." It was the official song of the eponymous 18th century club made up of amateur musicians, otherwise employed as doctors and lawyers and whatnot. Technically, whether it's an actual drinking song is up for debate, but it sounds good and suits us, I think.

If you already knew this, keep calm and carry on. If not, then you learned something new today.


Pigtown*Design said...

thanks for the shout! of course, we're home to the national anthem in baltimore. i thought the song FSK stole was called To Anacreon In Heaven...but I am sure it's all lost in the mists of time.

I posted some pix of Fort McHenry, home of the national anthem here. I was on the "Friends" board at the Fort for a few years, so know a lot about the history there. It's a great place.

Sorry for yakking!

hello gorgeous said...

It's true. The FSK song "To Anacreon in Heaven" is really titled "The Anacreontic Song" - same thing. And at least that's according to the most convincing thing I read.

Don't apologize for yakking. Please. I leave the longest comments ever. I love to read them.

Thanks for the picture reference, too.

Anonymous said...

Huh, I had no idea. But obviously Americans are exceptional thieves.

ogvcap said...

Hi from Italy. May I suggest this link?,_%27Tis_of_Thee

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