How George M. Cohan and Francis Scott Key Shaped AmericaJune 8th, 2009 - 8:42 pm ICT by GD
On September 13, 1814 a lawyer out to ask the British for the release of a prisoner accidentally overheard the British talk about a night attack on Fort McHenry. He was told that he will not be allowed to leave till the battle was over. So Francis Scott Key watched the battle from a British frigate, watching out for the American flag. He knew that the British would strike it if they won. In the morning he saw the flag was still flying and he was inspired to write a poem “The Star Spangled Banner” for it. He ended each of his four verses with “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It became a popular song and by act of Congress on March 3, 1931, it was announced as the National Anthem of the United States.
In 1906, while writing a stage play “George Washinton Jr.”, George M. Cohan, of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” fame wrote “You’re a grand old flag” which also became popular as a marching song for the soldiers going off to the World War I. It became as popular as the National March of the United States, the “The Stars and Stripes Forever” that had originally come to John Philip Sousa as a tune on a boat ride, and when he got home he had it all written down. The Congress declared it the National March of the United States owing to its popularity among soldiers.
With National Flag Day coming up in a week the songs an the history are revived again as more and more Americans go out with their flags and sing the songs of the musical geniuses who penned them.
Tags: american flag, boat ride, british frigate, flag day, fort mchenry, francis scott key, george m cohan, george washinton, grand old flag, john philip sousa, musical geniuses, national anthem, national flag day, national march of the united states, popular song, september 13 1814, stage play, star spangled banner, stars and stripes, yankee doodle dandy