New York: Geib & Co. No. 23 Maiden , [n.d., late 1814 or early 1815]. Used; Like New/Used; Like New. 4to (12 Â½ x 9 5/8 in.) printed from two engraved plates on pages  and 3 of a bifolium, removed from a bound volume of contemporary sheet music with pagination inscribed neatly in ink to the upper corners, modest toning, overall a very fine copy. FIRST NEW YORK EDITION WITH KEY'S LYRICS AND JOHN STAFFORD SMITH'S STIRRING MUSIC OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.Â Francis Scott Key's stirring verses were inspired by a shipboard vigil on the night of September 13-14, 1814, while British warships bombarded Fort McHenry, outside Baltimore. Key, a young lawyer, had boarded a British vessel ship to seek the release of an American physician held prisoner. During of the bombardment, Key was detained and spent the night on deck, watching the British rain shells onto the fort. Â During the British assault, a large stars and stripes flag flew over the fort but during the bombardment it was obscured by smoke. Key feared the fort had surrendered. When the smoke of battle died down and the flag could be clearly seen, Key's emotions were powerfully stirred. His first draft of what became the national anthem was written on the back of a letter to the tune of an English drinking tune "The Anacreontic Song," by John Stafford Smith.Â Broadside and newspaper printings of the verses appeared and it was widely performed by a traveling music company. The first sheet-music edition uniting Keys' lyrics and Smith's music appeared not later than 19 October from the press of J. Carr in Baltimore. It contains the mis-spelling "Pariotic" in the heading; amended to "Patriotic" in a second issue (Muller 1a). A Philadelphia printing from the press of A. Bacon followed, ornamented with a woodcut of a furled flag (Muller 2). The anthem was next published in New York by the firm of Geib & Co. (Muller 3). Muller dates the Geib edition between 1816 to 1817, adding that (as in the present copy) "An issue of this edition also appeared with the notation, '25 cents,' following the address in the publishers' imprint." THE GEIB EDITION IS RARE: a recent census tallies copies in 15 institutions and 5 additional copies held by collectors and in the trade. J. Fuld, Book of World-Famous Music, pp.592-534; J. Muller, Star Spangled Banner, 1973, pp.64 (illustrated); R.J. Wolfe, Secular Music in America, 1801-1825, vol.3, no.8346; P.W. Filby and E.G. Howard, Star-Spangled Books, Baltimore 1972, S 13.
(Inventory #: 12553)
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