Sunday, July 4, 2004

How well do you know our national anthem?

You can sing along at a Reds game, but do you really know the words to the national anthem? Here's news: nearly two out of three Americans (61 percent) don't know the words to the "Star-Spangled Banner," says a recent Harris Interactive survey of 2,200 American men and women 18 and older.

One in four people (38 percent) don't know the national anthem's official name.

Music educators are so worried, they are launching a three-year National Anthem Project in September, to reteach millions of Americans the national anthem. The program will crescendo to the world's largest performance of "The-Star Spangled Banner" on the Capital Mall, Washington, in 2007.

Test your knowledge by filling in the blanks:

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early _______.

What so proudly we ________ at the _______ last gleaming?

Whose broad _______ and bright _______, through the ________ fight,

O'er the _______we watched, were so gallantly ________!

And the rockets' ______ _______, the bombs bursting in _____, Gave _______through the night that our _______was still there:

O say does that Star-Spangled _______yet _______

O'er the land of the ______, and the home of the ________?

Bonus question: Who wrote the words to the national anthem?

(For answers, scroll down)

For more information about the National Anthem Project, visit the National Association for Music Education (MENC) Web site,, www.thenational or call 1-800-289-6441.

Janelle Gelfand


1) light 2) hailed 3) twilight's 4) stripes 5) stars 6) perilous 7) ramparts 8) streaming 9) red glare 10) air 11) proof 12) flag 13) banner 14) wave 15) free 16) brave

Bonus: Francis Scott Key

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