Oh, 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?

And the rockets' red glare, and the bombs in air
Gave us proof through the night that our flag was still there
And our flag marked with blood, with the blood of our hands
And our hands marked with death, with the blood of the man
And the man on the cross, and the cross on our hearts
Has it done nothing more, than to drive us apart?

And the rockets red glare and the bombs in the air
Gave us proof through the night that our flag was still there
And our flag marked with blood, with the blood of our hands
And our hands marked with death, with the blood of the man
And the man on the cross, and the cross on our hearts
Has it done nothing more, than to drive us apart?

Oh say, does that star
(Oh say, does that star)

Spangled banner yet wave
(Spangled banner yet wave)

O'er the land of the free
(O'er the land of the free)

And the home of the brave?
(And the home of the brave?)


Lyrics submitted by Way_AE, edited by xuledahi561

The Star Spangled Banner song meanings
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11 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI feel like his rendition of this song is a critique of how our so-called patriotism, fueled by our apparent religiosity, gives us the feeling of just cause to go ahead and ruin other people's lives, and ours in the process. Yet it begins with the first verse of the US National Anthem, which details the beauty and poignancy of the birth of this patriotism. Wow.
    rootieon September 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf anyones curious, this song has at least been played in concert. I dont know if it's on any CD anywhere.
    Way_AEon December 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can legally download this song for free by going to archive.org and searching for "sufjan stevens." Download or stream the concert at "Lee's place in Toronto." This song is about 56 minutes and 20 seconds into the concert.

    What an amazing song. Probably the most powerful rendition of a patriotic song Jimi Hendrix's version of the same song at Woodstock. This might even be more powerful than that version. Well down, Sufjan.
    jschles2on April 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line is actually "Has it done nothing more, then to drive us apart?"
    proposalson April 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is haunting. it's so beautiful.
    starvingchildrenon August 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReally good version of the song, best one I've ever heard.
    life_is_sweeton October 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPlayed at the Sasquatch Music Festival. 5/27/06
    youtube.com/…
    Played in San Francisco sometime in July 06.
    youtube.com/…
    Reddiffson July 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"and the man on the bus" "and the cause on our hearts" is what I hear before "Has it done nothing more than drive us apart.

    Also, I hear "the blood of the lamb".
    stevenj777on February 19, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSounds like we have stained our flag with the blood of Christ, and this had done nothing more then to drive us apart...

    "Our flag marked with blood, with the blood of our hands; our hands are marked with death, with the blood of the man; the man on the cross, and the cross on our hearts; has it done nothing more then to drive us apart..."
    xtrabiotoxinon July 04, 2016   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningDo not confuse patriotism with your religious belief, it does nothing more then to drive us apart.
    xtrabiotoxinon July 05, 2016   Link

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