America The Beautiful

I posted a special edition of my podcast this Fourth of July weekend. In honor of Independence Day, I included my rendition of ‘America the Beautiful,’ one of my most favorite Patriotic songs. I consider this song to be a great reminder of all that are nation has been–as well as an inspiration for all America can still be.

The lyrics to ‘America the Beautiful’ were written by Katherine Lee Bates, an American author and poet from Massachusetts.  A champion for equality, Bates was also a professor of English literature at Wellesley College and an early architect of American literature as an academic field.

In the early 1900s, the words from her poem ‘Pikes Peak’ that Bates wrote while on a trip to Colorado Springs in the summer of 1893, were set to music by an organist and choirmaster from New Jersey, Samuel A. Ward. The opening lines of the song include references to what she saw after reaching the top of Pike’s Peak by wagon. She later wrote that, “the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind” as she was inspired by the “sea-like expanse of fertile country…under those ample skies.”

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Watch the clip above to hear my rendition of ‘America The Beautiful.’ It begins about 5 minutes and 30 seconds into the video podcast. I included the rarely heard fourth verse.

Below, please find the lyrics to the two verses I sang.

What are the Lyrics to America The Beautiful?

Verse 1 and Verse 4.

O beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown they good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

Verse 4

Oh beautiful for patriot dream

That sees beyond the years

Thine alabaster cities gleam

Undimmed by human tears!

America! America!

God shed His grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

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