The Anthem Of Blackjack’s Home Turns Two Hundred
Sep 16, 2014
The home of Blackjack is celebrating 200 years of its national anthem so we here at Blackjack Champ HQ doff our caps to this eternal song.
It goes without saying that blackjack rules. It’s a fabulously enjoyable game that has delighted millions of people over many years and whilst it may have been born out of the European games of chance it is undoubtedly in America that the game found its home and became the world-renowned pass-time we know and love today. It was in America that it made its name, and perhaps it will be forever seen as an American game. So then when we heard the Star Spangled Banner was having its 200th birthday this weekend we thought we should pay tribute.
US National Anthem Reaches Milestone
• America celebrates 200 years of the national anthem
• Blackjack tips its hat to the song
• Will we still be singing it in 200 years time?
There are few things, mom’s apple pie aside, more an indication of the freedom that anthem represents than the ability to gamble free of molestation by the authorities and criminal gambling concerns. Las Vegas might be a tad gaudy but it represents a level of liberty that even the founding fathers probably didn’t see coming. The Star Spangled Banner has for 200 years represented the spirit of those brave people that made America what it is, and who but the brave would pick up blackjack cards and wager upon them freely?
Of course as with all anthems born out of war it does come with a certain amount of baggage that is now often over looked. Perhaps the most notable being that the tune was flagrantly stolen since the lyrics (actually a poem called Defense of Fort M’Henry) were written by Francis Scott Key to fit precisely to a tune called “To Anacreon In Heaven” by British composer John Stafford Smith. Not that Key was the first to do this, someone had already stolen it once before for a tune recalling the First Barbary War (called “When the warrior returns”) making Key the Vanilla Ice of his day, although to be fair Vanilla Ice was probably far less pro-slavery than Mr. Key.
Worse still the original tune by Smith was an anthem of a completely different sort, praising, as it did, the brave freedoms of sex and drinking. Lines like “I’ll instruct you, like me to entwine; The myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s vine” might seem like a lot of gibberish today but at the time was as racy as suggestive as anything put out by modern day gangster rappers. Perhaps in the future there will be nation whose anthem is set to same music as “Slap My Bitch Up” by The Prodigy, only time will tell, but in the meantime happy birthday Star Spangled Banner, happy birthday.