The song remains the same

What does a 200-year-old ode to a flag have to do with a ball game? More than you might think.

Originally Published: September 8, 2011
By Luke Cyphers | ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in the Sept. 19, 2011 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

THE FIRST THING to remember is that it's a battle song.

The most memorable lines involve rockets and bombs, and the lesser-known verses conjure "the havoc of war" and "the gloom of the grave."

The second thing to remember? It's a taunt, a lyrical grenade chucked at a defeated opponent. "See that flag still flying, the one you tried to capture?" it famously asks the British. Then it answers: ...

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