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STAR SPANGLED "BONER" - ORIGIN OF OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

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Sept. 13/14 was the 203rd anniversary of the bombarding of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812’s Battle of Baltimore on Sept. 13 to Sept. 14, 1814.  At dawn, Francis Scott Key was able to see the U.S. flag waving over the fort, as he noted in his opening lines.

He returned to Baltimore on Sept. 14 and was so inspired by the U.S. pluckiness that he wrote a poem, "Defence of Fort M'Henry," which he published on Sept. 20, 1814.

Key wrote his poem to fit the beat and melody of British composer John Stafford Smith's  -  "To Anacreon in Heaven".  This Song, in turn, was itself written for the benefit of an exclusive London gentlemen's club - The Anacreontic Society - founded in 1766 by Jack Smith.   The song itself was a song that celebrated love, sex and wine.

It was in the form of a poem written in the style of the ancient Greek poet - Anacreon - the "convivial bard of Greece", the celebrated Greek lyrical poet (560-478 B.C.E.), born at Teos in Ionia.  Anacreon was known for his celebrations of love, sex and wine.

Around 1780-1781 the song was first performed - by The Anacreontic Society - at the Crown And Anchor Tavern in The Strand section of London.  The words of the song are generally attributed to Ralph Tomlinson Esq., late President of that Society.

The Anacreontic Song - made explicit references to 2 Roman Gods -  Venus - the Roman goddess of love, beauty, desire & sex  & Bacchus - who was the Roman god of wine 

The Anacreontic Society itself came to an end after the Duchess of Devonshire attended one of its meetings.  Because "some of the comic songs [were not] exactly calculated for the entertainment of ladies, the singers were restrained which displeasing many of the members, they resigned one after another; and a general meeting being called, the society was dissolved."

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