How Did an Old English Drinking Song Inspire Francis Scott Key to Write The Star Spangled Banner?

In 1814, after a night in a pub, Francis Scott Key was taken prisoner during the war between Canada and the United States.

When he saw the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry he was inspired to write his famous lyrics with one particular barroom song, “To Anacreon In Heaven,” still in his mind.

And so “The Star Spangled Banner” was written to the tune of a traditional old English drinking song.