It is a song as deeply embedded in the American national psyche as the Stars and Stripes themselves.
But it turns out The Star Spangled Banner is not about a violent and bloody battle 200 years ago… but about monkeys.
That’s if you believe the words of a 6-year-old boy and his friend who made the hilarious claim on a segment of Jimmy Kimmel’s hit television chat show. And he says it with such deadpan sincerity, it’s hard not to take his word for it.
The boys were among a group of children asked by the TV prankster if they knew the lyrics to the country’s national anthem.
And their answers are more than a little enlightening.
Asked if she could sing the song for the camera on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, one of the girls says the second line actually means “we are proudly to all the states and the uniteds” while another reveals that the song’s real title is “Strong Singled Banner”.
And it wasn’t written by Francis Scott Key in 1814, but by legendary record producer Quincy Jones (though it’s not among the 27 Grammys he has won over the years).
Moments later, a girl reveals the War of Independence was really about gaining freedom from Canada before a young boy performs an interpretive dance while singing the anthem.
They gave the cute responses for a segment on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show celebrating yesterday’s Independence Day.
The Star Spangled Banner was in fact based on the lyrics of a poem written by Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.
It was later made to fit the tune of popular melody The Anacreontic Song, by English composer John Stafford Smith and, in 1889, Secretary of the Navy Benjamin F. Tracy ruled that The Star-Spangled Banner be the official tune to be played at the raising of the flag.
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