Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)
"The Star-Spangled Banner."
Baltimore: Thomas Carr, 1814
Printed sheet music
Purchase, 1941 (29.1)
of the Library of Congress
In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote new words for a well-known
drinking song, "To Anacreon in Heaven," to celebrate America's
recent victory over the British. However, only in 1931, following a twenty-year
effort during which more than forty Bills and joint resolutions were introduced
in Congress, was a law finally signed proclaiming "The Star Spangled
Banner" to be the national anthem of the United States.
The present copy, one of only five known to have been made
by Key, is the earliest of four dating from the period 1840-1842 near
the end of his life.
Shown here is a copy of the first printed edition combining
words and music -- one of only ten copies known to exist.
Play the Star Spangle Banner