WTF Fun Fact 13196 – Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald have some interesting things in common. Fitzgerald’s full name is actually Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. That’s because his parents named him after his distant relative who wrote the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Francis Scott Key and F Scott Fitzgerald were relatives

Francis Scott Key was an American lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Maryland. We know him best for writing the lyrics to the United States’ national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The poem was originally titled “Defense of Fort McHenry.” Key wrote it in 1814 after he witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He is considered one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. We know him best for his novels “The Great Gatsby” and “Tender Is the Night.” Scholars characterize Fitzgerald’s works by their themes of wealth, youth, and disillusionment, and they helped to define the “Jazz Age” of the 1920s. notes that: “The two were only distantly related—Key was a second cousin three times removed—but Fitzgerald was known to play up the family connection. While driving past a statue of Key in an alcoholic haze in 1934, he supposedly hopped from the car and hid in the bushes, yelling to a friend, ‘Don’t let Frank see me drunk!””

Other fun facts about Fitzgerald

In addition to having a famous relative, revealed that Fitzgerald was also an awful speller. That’s pretty impressive since he made his living writing before the days of the spell checker. Luckily, he lived in the days of good editors.

His book “The Great Gatsby” was also not a bestseller in his lifetime. “It performed poorly compared to his first two novels, selling just over 20,000 copies and only turning a meager profit for its publisher. Popular interest in the book didn’t spike until World War II when some 150,000 copies were shipped to U.S. servicemen overseas.” WTF fun facts

Source: “10 Things You May Not Know About F. Scott Fitzgerald” —

WTF Fun Fact 13102 – The Spanish National Anthem

The Spanish national anthem is one of the few national anthems with no words. The lyric-less tune, “Marcha Real,” has led to some confusion in other nations while watching events like the Olympics and World Cup as TV watchers from the U.S. tweet out things like “I can’t believe the Spanish team refuses to sing their national anthem.” But it’s not for a lack of patriotism!

The national anthems with no words

The “Marcha Real” (or Royal March”) is one of only four national anthems with no words. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and San Marino’s anthems are also instrumentals.

So, it’s rare, but it’s there. And it does tend to lead to awkward moments in stadiums as well when other teams belt out the words to their nation’s anthem. Typically, the Spanish have craftily made do with humming along or “na na na’ing” along to the tune, but players normally stand in silence.

A brief tenure during which the Spanish anthem had lyrics

According to the music website Classic FM, The ‘Marcha Real’ was composed in 1761 by Manuel de Espinosa de los Monteros. It was designed as a military march for the Spanish Infantry. King Charles III declared it the official march of Span in the 1770s, and later it was named the nation’s anthem.

There have been attempts to give it words, but none have been accepted by the government.

Classic FM notes: “During the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the following lyrics, written by fascist poet José María Pemán, were employed.”

And it went a little something like this:

Long live Spain! Raise your arms, sons
Of the Spanish People, which rebirths anew.
Glory to the Fatherland that knew how to follow,
Over the Ocean blue, the course of the setting sun.
Triumph, Spain! The yokes and the arrows
Sing to the rhythm of the anthem of faith.
Let’s stand and sing along with them
For the new and strong life of work and peace.
Long live Spain! Raise your arms, sons
Of the Spanish People, which rebirths anew.
Glory to the Fatherland that knew how to follow,
Over the Ocean blue, the course of the setting sun.

Spain became a democracy after Franco’s death, however, and the lyrics were left behind in the ash heaps of history.  WTF fun facts

Source: “What is the Spanish national anthem, and why does it have no words?” — Classic FM