Ed Fountaine, the New York Post’s racing columnist, writes this morning:
SARATOGA SPRINGS – Let’s hope second half of meet goes better than yesterday’s butchering of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Karmina sisters, who think they know better than Francis Scott Key what the tune should sound like. It’s the National Anthem: Sing it the way it’s supposed to be sung!
While I’m all for keeping the national anthem traditional, Fountaine should know that Key wrote the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” as a poem (“Defence of Fort McHenry”), with no thought of turning it into a song. His brother-in-law noticed that Key’s stanzas fit nicely into a drinking song called “To Anacreon in Heaven” and had copies printed up with that suggestion. It became an instant hit throughout the nation and has endured ever since as a patriotic song, though it was not declared the official national anthem until 1931.