O’er the Ramparts we watched

“O’er the ramparts we watched”

If you are a US citizen you are not doubt familiar with that line. It is from the National Anthem. But do you know what a rampart actually is?

It is a castle term, yup! It is a very old word and it refers to the top of a castle wall where soldiers walked. ┬áIt is a wonderful old word that isn’t used much any more but our national anthem keeps it alive.






The song was initially a poem written by Francis Scott Key as he observed Fort McHenry which is a coastal star shaped fort that was bombarded by the British Navy during the war of 1812.

Here is the first verse of the National Anthem:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?