Poets & Patriots: A Tuneful History of the United States Through The Tale of Francis Scott Key’s Most Famous Song
The story of “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the story of the United States itself. The melody was famously set to new words by amateur poet and lawyer Francis Scott Key after the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.
Since the “dawn’s early light” on that now emblematic day, the song has grown and changed in ways largely forgotten today. This lecture and discussion by U-M Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture Mark Clague explores the history of the American national anthem as a witness to the story of the nation itself.
Mark Clague is a native of Ann Arbor and longtime fan of the Ann Arbor District Library. He serves as Associate Professor of Musicology and American Culture at the University of Michigan and is editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition and director of the University’s Gershwin Initiative.