Defence of Fort McHenry

August 25, 2011

“Defence of Fort McHenry”, is the name of a poem written about a battle which took place during the War of 1812. The writer of the poem was Francis Scott Key, who was a lawyer attempting to secure the release of four American prisoners being held on the HMS Tonnant. There were four stanzas and the melody he chose was a melody written by a member of The Anacreonic Society, in London. The song was called,”To Anacreon in Heaven”. You would know all this better as, “The Star Spangled Banner”.

The great artist Marvin Gaye made it possible for us to look at the song and interpret the song as a song. As a song writer myself  I am very attracted to the words and melody and as I would do to any song that I am working with I did everything I could to preserve the integrity of the piece and at the same time put my own touch to it. I put the song in 4/4 time except for a few lines which are in 3/4. It’s unnoticeable but I felt it worked better for me. I also decided to include the beautiful fourth stanza which is rarely heard.

My intention was simply to record a beautiful thought-provoking song. Non-political and with no agenda .

I chose to keep the original spelling of  the word defense, which is defence and as it turns out we are the only english speaking country who spells the word with an “s”.

In the first verse there is a line which reads,”The bombs bursting in air” , is a reference to the British rockets that exploded before hitting their target as the technology to make them explode on contact had yet to be discovered. It is also in the fourth verse where our motto,”In God we Trust”, comes from.

I felt it was also necessary to make a very simple video that merely makes the statement that America is a melting pot made up of many different Peoples. My grandson edited and my granddaughter directed and at the end we wrote, “We are America”. I truly love this song, the video can be viewed by clicking on the thumbnail image here

I also have included a free download at


just press where is says free download and then push send when the e-mail comes up.

Let me know what you think.


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