(NEW YORK) -- Francis Scott Key has had a long time to turn over in his grave since the lyrics he penned 198 years ago on Friday were put to music.
“The Star-Spangled Banner” has been butchered enough times to raise questions about the sanity of all, but those blessed with the truest voices and sharpest memories will risk public shame and humiliation.
But that hasn’t stopped them, including 11-year-old Harper Gruzins, who admitted that her rendition bombed this summer before a nationally televised Major League Soccer match.
Harper felt the wrath of arm-chair critics, while sympathizers recognized the difficulty factor for an 11-year-old attempting a song set to an old English tune.
Mangled lyrics and cracked voices aside, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” written in Baltimore on Sept. 14, 1814 as “Defense of Fort McHenry” by Key -- a lawyer and amateur poet -- is 198 years old. It didn’t become the official national anthem until 1931.
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