On the American national anthem... and its queer history.

Today is the anniversary of "The Star-Spangled Banner", the American national anthem (as of 1931) which Francis Scott Key wrote in 1814.

I decided to do a little bit of research into whether the lyricist was gay, not because "star spangled banner" sounds beyond camp and he may as well have called the anthem Vogue, but because, you know, a lot of successful early 19th century lyricists were at least bi.

I found this fascinating little piece written by the American writer Martin Greif (who died in 1996) that links the American national anthem to the pederastic Greek poet Anacreon.

Anacreon and the American National Anthem

By the late Martin Greif

"What does the Greek poet Anacreon have to do with Francis Scott Key? Well, Anacreon's poems (which were largely about boys he diddled, such youths as Smerdus, Leukaspis, Simalus, Euryalus and Bathyllus, to name but a few) had a distinct structure. This poetic structure became known therefore as 'Anacreontics'. 

"Several poets imitated the Anacreontic style when Anacreon's poems were rediscovered by English poets. The popularity of Anacreontics culminated in the popular song "Anacreon in Heaven", and, as every schoolboy should know, the music to the song eventually became the tune for the American national anthem.

"Francis Scott Key's words may have been inspiring in the past, but they're impossible to memorize because archaic. If you doubt this, listen to the mumbles that pass for words whenever the song is sung at a high school graduation. And watch people shifting uneasily from one foot to the other while staring at their shoes.

"The tune itself to 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is positively unsingable. There have been several attempts to convince Congress to seek a new national anthem, but no luck thus far. If you want to accelerate this movement, just let the Moral Majority  know that the anthem has everything to do with some foreign fag who used to dip his dork in little Greek boys just like theirs. That oughta do the job!"

- Martin Greif wrote this little piece in the 1980s. Thirty years later America is still stuck with the same terrible national anthem. Still, at least it's interesting to know that the song has its roots in pederastic ancient Greece.

1 comment:

  1. Now this article is very homophobic! Our country is about being free if you don't want to be free get out!:)