The Meaning Behind The National Anthem, Super Bowl History & 2023 Length Odds

Fresh off of his electrifying performance with Smokey Robinson and Steve Wonder at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, Chris Stapleton will take the field Sunday (Feb. 12th) to perform “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl.

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Inspiration Behind the National Anthem

The “Star Spangled Banner,” written by Francis Scott Key, is known as the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics of the song are based on a poem, “Defence of Fort M’Henry”, written by Key, who served as a quartermaster in the Georgetown Artillery after he witnessed British ships conduct a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.

It was the morning after the bombardment when Key observed the 15-star, 15-stripe flag continue to fly over Fort McHenry despite the destruction, which inspired him to pen the poem. The HMS Erebus, a ship in the Royal Navy, launched the rockets that provided the lyric, rockets’ red glare, and the UK bomb vessels allowed for the lyric, “bombs bursting in air.” The poem was soon published in newspapers where it was given the name “The Star Spangled Banner.”

It was later set to the tune of the song “To Anacreon in Heaven” by John Stafford Smith and became the national anthem of the U.S. in 1931. Key later served as a district attorney for Washington, D.C.

Facts About Francis Scott Key

  • Name: Francis Scott Key
  • Born: August 1, 1779, in Frederick County Maryland
  • Died: January 11, 1843, in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Graduated from:  St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland
  • Passed the bar in 1801
  • Had a successful law practice in Georgetown
  • Married to Mary Tayloe Lloyd
  • Helped found the American Colonization Society (ACS) in 1816
  • In 1823 he helped found what became the Virginia Theological Seminary

Super Bowl Performance Length History

In years past, the national anthem performance has been a main attraction for wagering during the Super Bowl. Stapleton’s performance will be no exception. One way to get in on the action is by guessing the length of the national anthem. Of the past six performers, three have gone over the two-minute mark. Jazmine Sullivan & Eric Church in 2021 ran 2:16, Gladys Knight in 2019 ran 2:01 and Luke Bryan in 2017 ran 2:04.

However, Mickey Guyton sang the anthem in 2022 and came in at a time of 1:55, while Demi Lovato ran 1:49 minutes long in 2020 and P!nk came in at 1:52 in 2018. Stapleton has a good shot at running over the 2 Minute and 5-second mark, especially if he riffs for a bit on his electric guitar, which he’s known to do, but will he do it for the national anthem?

How Long Will it Take Chris Stapleton to Sing the U.S. National Anthem?

OVER 2 Minutes And 5 Seconds-185
UNDER 2 Minutes And 5 Seconds+140

*Odds as of February 7

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National Anthem Singers at the Super Bowl Over the Past 20 Years

2000Faith HillSuper Bowl XXXIV
2001Backstreet BoysSuper Bowl XXXV
2002Mariah CareySuper Bowl XXXVI
2003Dixie ChicksSuper Bowl XXXVII
2004BeyonceSuper Bowl XXXVIII
2005Combined Military Academy ChoirsSuper Bowl XXXIX
2006Aaron Neville and Aretha FranklinSuper Bowl XL
2007Billy JoelSuper Bowl XLI
2008Jordin SparksSuper Bowl XLII
2009Jennifer HudsonSuper Bowl XLIII
2010Carrie UnderwoodSuper Bowl XLIV
2011Christina Aguilera Super Bowl XLV
2012Kelly ClarksonSuper Bowl XLVI
2013Alicia KeysSuper Bowl XLVII
2014Renee FlemingSuper Bowl XLVIII
2015Idina MenzelSuper Bowl XLIX
2016Lady GagaSuper Bowl L
2017Luke BryanSuper Bowl LI
2018PinkSuper Bowl LII
2019Gladys KnightSuper Bowl LIII
2020Demi LovatoSuper Bowl LIV
2021Eric Church and Jazmine SullivanSuper Bowl LV
2022Mickey GuytonSuper Bowl LVI

Super Bowl LVII will be broadcast live on FOX beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images for ABA

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