10 Fascinating Facts About Alcohol You Didn't Know
10. The Tune To The Star Spangled Banner Is A Drinking Song
"O say can you see by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?" These lyrics, taken from the poem Defence of Fort M'Henry by Francis Scott Key, are most likely familiar to every American - their national anthem, after all, is performed frequently, not least the recent 4th of July celebrations. The tune which makes up America's national anthem The Star-Spangled Banner has an altogether different origin - a song dedicated to wine, women and song. To Anacreon In Heaven was originally written by John Stafford Smith for the London-based gentlemen's club the Anacreontic Society, notable for its bawdy lyrics and references to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. Fortunately its drunken origins aren't entirely inappropriate - more than a few Americans were likely to have been a little inebriated themselves when singing their national anthem this 4th of July.