The Star-Spangled Banner

Author: Francis Scott Key

This chart compares versions of the English text of The Star-Spangled Banner, as it appears in different publications.

Minor punctuation, capitalization, and spelling differences are shown, in addition to more substantial differences in words, phrases, or verses.

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1. O say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
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1. Oh say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
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What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
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What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
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Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
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Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
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O’er the ramparts we watche’d, were so gallantly streaming?
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O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
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And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
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And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
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Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
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Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there.
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O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
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Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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2. On the shore, dimly seen thru the mists of the deep,
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2. On the shore, dimly seen thru the mists of the deep,
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Where the foes haughty host in dread silence reposes,
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Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
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What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
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What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
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As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
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As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
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Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
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Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
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In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
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In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
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’Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
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’Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh, long may it wave
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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3. O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
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3. Oh, thus be it ever, when free men shall stand
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Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
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Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation!
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Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
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Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
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Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
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Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserved us a nation!
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Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
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Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
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And this be our motto; “In God is our trust!”
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And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
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And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
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And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
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The text of this song is in public domain (originally published before 1928, or published before 1964 and not renewed).