In 1814, Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) wrote new words for a well-known drinking song by John Stafford Smith (1750-1836), "To Anacreon in Heaven" to celebrate America's recent victory over the British. In 1931, Congress passed a law proclaiming "The Star Spangled Banner" to be the national anthem of the United States.
This arrangement, by Doug Katsaros, was first performed at the Macy's 4th July Fireworks Spectacular, on NBC television, July 4th, 2014. The performers were soloist Idina Menzel, Judith Clurman's Essential Voices USA, and Sherrie Maricle's Dive Jazz Orchestra. The recording of that performance has been added to the permanent archives at F. McHenry in Balitmore, MD.
Text (Defence of Fort M'Henry by Francis Scott 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 rockets' 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?