NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With neither music nor much of anything else able to bring together the modern United States, it's a small miracle that "The Star-Spangled Banner" survives as our National Anthem.Written by Francis Scott Key nearly 1,999 years ago after he'd witnessed the attack on Fort McHenry just outside Baltimore during the War of 1812, everything about it is a reminder of just how tricky a business anthem writing can be. The words themselves have proven stumbling blocks for even some of the nation's best singers. Its supporting music was cribbed from "The Anacreontic Song," the official song of 18th century London men's club The Anacreontic Society, whose original lyrics included the following: "And, besides, I'll instruct you like me, to intwine, the Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."
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