To be honest…I love the words to the Star-Spangled Banner (All of them)

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The Forgotten Verses of“The Star-Spangled Banner”

In 1814, the poet and lyricist Francis Scott Key penned the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” originally known as “Defense of Fort M’Henry.” During the War of 1812, Key witnessed the burning of Washington and wrote the words based on his experiences this night. These lyrics were printed in local newspapers and set to the tune of an existing song called “Anacreon in Heaven,” and then officially arranged by John Philip Sousa. Key’s famous lyrics entered the world as a broadside ballad, or a song written on a topical subject, and printed for wide distribution.

More than a century later, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order designating “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, and in 1931, the US Congress confirmed the decision. The tune has kicked off ceremonies of national importance and athletic events ever since.

While the first verse of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is widely known by the American public, the last three verses are generally omitted in performances. Here are all the four versers, as they were written 200 years ago by Key:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner—O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Happy Thursday everyone! Here’s your quote of the day…

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We are stardust, we are golden and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

Joni Mitchell

November 7, 1943: Happy 70th birthday, Joni Mitchell! The Canadian singer songwriter had polio as a child—the illness weakened her left hand, which made many traditional guitar fingerings difficult to execute. It led Mitchell to develop her own signature tunings.

12 of the most misinterpreted quotes

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Wordsmiths like Shakespeare and Robert Frost loved their sarcasm. But when you take comments like that out of context, they can mean the exact opposite of the author’s intention.
That hasn’t stopped us from spouting famous lines, many from classic literature, however we see fit.
We created a list of some frequently used quotes that people just don’t understand. Some came from this Quora post. Others, were added from bits and pieces of high school lit classes.

1. “I took the road less traveled.” In Robert Frost’s culturally omnipresent poem, “The Road Not Taken,” he tries to decide which of two paths he should take. He looks down one but chooses the second, “just as fair” and “worn really about the same.”
If you read the entire poem, the last stanza regales how he’ll say “with a sigh” that his decision “made all the difference.”
In reality, Frost arbitrarily chose his path, which didn’t matter in the long run. He just wants to hide his pessimism.
Of course everyone today uses the quote as evidence of “forging your own path,” “going your own way” and all those other tautologies about fate and individualism.

2. “Money is the root of all evil.” Not really. The love of money is the root of all evil, according to Timothy 6:10 from the King James Bible. 

3. “Nice guys finish last.” Nice guys actually finish seventh. Leo Durocher, nicknamed Leo the Lip, served as the field manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the height of the Giants-Dodgers rivalry. He made some comment about Mel Ott, right-fielder for the Giants, being too nice, which made the team finish in seventh place. “Baseball Digest” later reprinted the column in which his quote appeared but changed “seventh” to “last place,” according to Freakonomics blog.
Leo’s misquoted words soon became a credo for over-aggressive coaches and guys with no romantic game everywhere.

4. Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? In most high school adaptations of Shakespeare’s well-known play, Juliet raises a hand to her furrowed brow, searching for her lover from a balcony. But “wherefore art” doesn’t mean “where.” It means “why.” Juliet questions why fate made Romeo a Montague, her family’s sworn enemy.

5. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Most attribute this insight to Voltaire. In reality, Evelyn Beatrice Hall, a writer born two hundred years later, paraphrased a quote from Voltaire’s “Treatise on Tolerance,” which begged for understanding between religions.
Still, some report the original reads, “Think for yourselves and let other enjoy the privilege to do so too.” But those words never appear in Voltaire’s essay either.

6. “Love makes the world go ’round.” The Duchess, a hideous character in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland,” makes this comment in passing right after she advocates beating her baby for sneezing. In context, the author meant the sweet quip sarcastically. But that didn’t stop Ashlee Simpson from making a terrible song. 

7. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” In Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” Maria writes a letter to Malvolio, trying to convince him that another character, Olivia, loves him — dramatic, right? Maria uses the quote to appeal to Malvolio’s ego, that Olivia (the false author) cannot deny his greatness. Thanks, Sparknotes.

8. “Oh East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” Talking heads in foreign policy sometimes use this quote as evidence that opposite sides of the globe will never see eye-to-eye. But if they read just a little farther in Rudyard Kipling’s ballad, the next lines read, “But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth/When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth.”
Essentially, world colonization will happen regardless of geo-political borders, and we should all just get along. 

9. “The Devil is in the details.” Lazy people somehow bastardized a brilliant German architect’s words to mean the exact opposite. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe really said, “God is in the details.” He’s also credited with another famous aphorism: “Less is more.” 

10. “Good fences make good neighbors.” Once again, Bobby Frost wrote a widely misunderstood poem. In “Mending Wall,” a fence separates two neighbors’ yards. Every spring, they collaborate and fix it. But in the process, they disagree on whether they need a barrier at all. Frost makes the last line of the poem ironic. These two curmudgeons simply keep their fence out of tradition, even though it means more work for them.

11. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” More than one slick love letter has included this phrase. But arguably Shakespeare’s most famous sonnet praised a man, not a woman. He actually wrote hundreds of sonnets about this guy, his dearest friend.

12. “Blood is thicker than water.” This gets uttered around awkward family photos on the mantel of nearly every home in the country. The original phrase, however, meant the opposite. An earlier proverb preached, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” In this case, “water of the womb” refers to family while “blood of the covenant” means blood shed by soldiers. So really, military bonds trump your siblings and parents.

Quote of the Day!

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We must love one another or die

W.H. Auden

September 1, 1939: Seventy-four years ago today, just as World War II was breaking out, W.H. Auden wrote a poem that took its title from the date. Although he came to hate the piece, it was embraced by readers and enjoyed another surge of popularity following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Quote of the Day!

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No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.

Paulo Coelho

August 24, 1947: Popular Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho often writes about spiritual journeys. The turning point in his life was trekking the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain—his book, The Pilgrimage, is about that long walk. Happy 66th birthday!

Quote of the Day!

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To this generation I would say:
Memorize some bit of verse of truth or beauty.

Edgar Lee Masters

August 23, 1868: Edgar Lee Masters published over 50 volumes of work, but he is known for just one—Spoon River Anthology, a moving book of poetry that tells the stories of ordinary people in a small Illinois town. He was born in Kansas, 145 years ago today.

Quote of the Day!

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what matters most is how well you walk through the fire

Charles Bukowski

August 16, 1920: Before he was able to make a living as a writer, Charles Bukowski worked in the post office as a clerk—a job that fueled both his writing and his despair. Bukowski was born in Germany, 93 years ago today.