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"The Anacreontic Song", also known by its incipit "To Anacreon In Heaven", was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, an 18th-century gentlemen's club of amateur musicians in London. The tune was later used by several writers as a setting for their patriotic lyrics. These included two songs by Francis Scott Key, most famously his poem "Defence of Fort McHenry". The latter combination became known as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and was adopted as the national anthem of the United States of America, in 1931.
The Star-Spangled Banner"
Francis Scott Key wrote "Defence of Fort McHenry" during the War of 1812, while detained on a British ship during the night of September 13, 1814, as the British forces bombarded the American fort. Key specifically wrote the lyrics with this familiar patriotic tune in mind, just as he had done with an earlier set of his lyrics, "When the Warrior Returns", in which he had made similar use of "star-spangled banner" imagery. Later retitled "The Star-Spangled Banner", Key's lyrics, set to Stafford Smith's music, became a well-known and recognized patriotic song throughout the United States, and was officially designated as the U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931. The setting of new lyrics to an existing tune is called a contrafactum.