Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Happy Fourth (on the Fifth!)

I hope you enjoyed your Fourth of July weekend!  

I spent much of Sunday and Monday singing patriotic songs, both aloud and to myself.  I just love those tunes that I don't even remember learning.  I love the patriotism and poetry of the words...and I especially love singing them in their entirety...rather than just the first familiar verses of each song.  

I love that those who penned these songs (My Country Tis Of Thee, America the Beautiful, the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America) long ago recognized the "Author of Liberty" in each...the One in whom we should place our trust...through whom we know ultimate freedom and peace.

Recently, at a Parent Practicum (training conference) for Classical Conversations, we examined the "Star Spangled Banner," using the three stages of the classical model of education.  I really enjoyed this exercise.  I had never read the entire song, much less sung it.  I learned so much...

The four verses of our national anthem are written below...I challenge you to read them aloud slowly (pay attention to the punctuation!)...not getting lost in the familiar rhythm of the song but pausing to reflect on the words.

The Star Spangled Banner
by Francis Scott Key

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched 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.
Oh, 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! Oh 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 washed out their foul footsteps' 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!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved 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!


jamie long said...

Great pics, especially the night ones.

shannon ho said...

what fun! can't wait to see you!

Anonymous said...

...love your thoughts! Love you!! It looks like you made lots of fun memories!


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