Happy Sunday, Liberty Lovers!
“America the Beautiful” is a popular and beloved patriotic song. Many wish that it could be the official national anthem. (Don’t tell The Star-Spangled Banner that it has competition.)
“America the Beautiful” is based on a poem written by 33-year-old professor, Katharine Lee Bates, during a trip to Colorado Springs in 1893. The view from the top of Pikes Peak was so beautiful that Bates began writing a poem about what she saw on her journey. Her poem was first published in the Fourth of July edition of The Congregationalist in 1895. Bates was only given $5 for her poem’s first publication, and she gave up all royalties to it when it was published.
Samuel A. Ward was a church organist who composed the music for the lyrics. Ward died in 1903, one year before his music was used with Bates’ lyrics. Ward and Bates never met.
Let’s sing the first verse of “America the Beautiful” together, as we reflect on the beauty of this nation!
Here are the lyrics:
Oh, 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 thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
Happy Birthday week to Katharine Lee Bates! She was born on August 12, 1859.