THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
The Drink Nation Home Bar Project Cover

Our National Anthem Came from an Old English Drinking Song

To Anacreon!
by The Drink Nation on Oct 25, 2011 in Culture
Our National Anthem Came from an Old English Drinking Song

World Series games are likely top the list of occasions that see the greatest number of Americans simultaneously raise a glass to our country while listening to the national anthem. Having a drink with friends goes well with baseball, but – perhaps surprisingly – is even more fitting for The Star Spangled Banner: author Francis Scott Key lifted the tune for this patriotic homage from an old English drinking song.

The melody originated in an 18th Century London gentleman’s club, as the accompaniment to a verse entitled “To Anacreon in Heaven.” The song, along with the Anacreonatic Society (as the group of British men was known) celebrated the Greek poet Anacreon, who was known to weave tales of Bacchanalia for the early Hellenic court. A few example lyrics:

Away to the Sons of Anacreon we'll fly,
And there, with good Fellows, we'll learn to intwine
The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.

While Key was most certainly not tossing back spirits during his detainment on a British ship during the War of 1812, his was already a fan of the Anacreon-touting tune. As soldiers at Fort McHenry successfully defended Baltimore Harbor, he was inspired to give the song new verse, and wrote the poem that eventually became the official song of our nation.

Check out the Anacreonatic Song here (mp3), and sing the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner as you listen. Next time you hear the soaring words about the land of the free and the home of the brave, remember the song also celebrates a good drink with friends.

Recent Articles

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

What to Do if Your Uber, Lyft, or Cab Driver Ever Strays From Your Destination or Makes You Feel in Danger

If you're taking an Uber, Lyft, or cab and feel unsafe, there are steps you can take to protect yourself....read more ›

by Nina Starner Jun 19, 2019
Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

Behind the Bar: Kat Corbo of The Study & Winner of Speed Rack 2019

This time on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Kat Corbo of The Study, who recently won Speed Rack 2019....read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 15, 2019
Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

Boston Beer & Dogfish Head Have Merged in a $300 Million Deal

In a huge move for the American craft beer community, Boston Beer and Dogfish Head have agreed to a merger valued at $300 million dollars. ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation May 10, 2019
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A New, High-End Blend of Jack Daniel's Whiskey is Now Available in the United States

A new, high-end blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, known as Jack Daniel's No. 27 Gold, which was previously only ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 15, 2019
Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Is Now Available in 12 States With a New Barrel Reserve Expression

Coopers' Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon has debuted an entirely new label design, has expanded to more states...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 3, 2019
PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

PBR is Making Its Own Whiskey For the Perfect Shot & Beer Combo

Pabst Blue Ribbon has filed documents to create its very own whiskey, making for the perfect shot & beer combo....read more ›

by Drink Philly Mar 18, 2019
Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

Behind the Bar: Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard

In this edition of Behind the Bar, we chatted with Tory Pratt, the founder of Pratt Standard....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 7, 2019
Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott Has Made Seven Short Films for Hennessy X.O.

Ridley Scott has directed a four-minute short film for Hennessy X.O. visualizing the seven flavors of the high...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Mar 4, 2019
Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

Behind the Bar: Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve

On this edition of Behind the Bar, we had the honor to sit down with Chris Morris, the master distiller at Woo...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 28, 2019
Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Haagen-Dazs is Making Booze-Infused Ice Cream

Step aside, after dinner drinks - Haagen-Dazs is releasing a line of spiked ice cream....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Feb 19, 2019
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close