America the Beautiful  

ButteryDelight 58F
1961 posts
7/4/2006 12:06 pm

Last Read:
7/16/2006 7:45 pm

America the Beautiful


I have had the radio on most of the day as I was working around the house. I wanted to get the house cleaned up for the family BBQ we are having this evening. Of course, with it being the 4th of July, there were mostly patriotic songs being played. I hummed and sang along with them as I completed my household tasks.

One particular song came on a little while ago and I just had to lay down the mop and sing along with it. The song was America the Beautiful Here are the words an a little bit of the history behind this great song.

lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates;
music composed by Samuel A. Ward

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 thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O 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.

A Little Bit of History....
The lyrics to this beautiful song were written by Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929) an instructor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, after an inspiring trip to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado, in 1893. Her poem, America the Beautiful first appeared in print in The Congregational List, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Ms. Bates revised the lyrics in 1904 and again in 1913. In addition to those changes in the words, it is notable that the poem was not always sung to the tune "Materna," composed by Samuel A. Ward in 1882, nearly a decade before the poem was written. In fact, for two years after it was written it was sung to just about any popular or folk tune that would fit with the lyrics, with "Auld Lang Syne" being the most notable of those. The words were not published together with "Materna" until 1910, and even after that time, the tune to be used was challenged to some degree. For example, in 1926 the National Federation of Music Clubs held a contest to put the poem to new, reportedly "less somber," music, but no other entry was determined to be more acceptable. Before her death in 1929, Ms. Bates never indicated publicly which music she liked best, so it appears that the tune "Materna" will forever be associated with this song.

That song holds a special meaning for me as it was the first song I sang in public. It was also the first time I sang in public.

I was 10 years old and it was on our family farm in Iowa. The whole family had gathered for the annual 4th of July BBQ and fireworks party. All my brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins were there, along with some neighbors thrown in.

My family is very musically inclined and several of my brothers and sisters play instruments as well as sing. My mother was offered a scholarship to attend The Julliard School for dance, drama and music in New York. But, she turned it down to be a "stay at home" mother and I am so glad she did. So, it was expected that as soon as most of the family finished eating, the instruments would come out and the singing would begin. After the singing would be square dancing.

Sure enough, the guitars, fiddles, and a banjo soon were brought out. Family members would shout out their favorite songs as well as hymns and we would all join in the singing. We sang through several requests when different relatives started begging my mom to sing. She was a very modest person and kept turning them down. But, eventually she agreed to sing "America the Beautiful" but only if I sang with her. Reluctantly, I walked up there to stand in front of everyone. My mom slid an arm around my shoulders for support and nodded to the ones playing the guitar. I remembering being so nervous my palms sweated and my knees knocked together. So, I closed my eyes and with mom singing softly in the background I began to sing. When I was finished and the last chord on the guitar faded away it was the silence that caused me to open my eyes and look around. There was not a dry eye in the crowd. I had been so immersed in the meaning of the words as I sang them that I hadn't even realized that mom stopped singing to leave my emotion filled voice singing alone.

At first I was embarrassed. But, that gradually lessened as the party continued with several of my relatives coming up to me and commenting that they had not heard that song sung with such conviction before that day.

You might be asking yourself how do I feel about singing in public now that I am grown? I will do it. But, my personality is such that I prefer to sing with one or more persons.

I still fill strongly about my country. I am thankful for all the freedoms I enjoy as an American. I pray for President Bush frequentl as well as other leaders. What about you? How do you feel about your country? If you are an American do you vote? Do you support the president, even if he makes a decision you feel was not a good one?


loadeddice05 44M

7/4/2006 4:04 pm

I love my country!! But could care less about our useless president!!

I hope you enjoy your 4th!!!!!Dice....


ButteryDelight 58F

7/4/2006 10:02 pm

    Quoting loadeddice05:
    I love my country!! But could care less about our useless president!!

    I hope you enjoy your 4th!!!!!Dice....
I don't agree with all the decisions our president has made but he is still the president and I will not call him names I will just hope for and vote for a better one when elections come around.

Thank you for reading and commenting.


ButteryDelight 58F

7/4/2006 10:06 pm

    Quoting loadeddice05:
    I love my country!! But could care less about our useless president!!

    I hope you enjoy your 4th!!!!!Dice....
I don't agree with all the decisions our president has made but he is still the president and I will not call him names I will just hope for and vote for a better one when elections come around.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

Buttery Delight


ButteryDelight 58F

7/4/2006 10:09 pm

    Quoting big_n3rd:
    I am proud of my country, and will support our elected presidents. It saddens me to see so many Americans that are willing to put down our country and leadership. If we don't support the one that we elected, how foolish does that make us look? Oh yea, and I do vote, one of the many rights I am proud I gave my blood and sweat for 13 years to support. Happy 4th
What really bugs me is when people complain about our elected officials and then I find out they didn't even bother to vote!

Buttery Delight


ButteryDelight 58F

7/5/2006 8:31 am

    Quoting big_n3rd:
    It seems to me that the majority of those out there complaining are the ones that didn't vote. I like the way you think

    Grey
Thank you Grey. And thank you for visting and commenting on my blog.
I hope you will return.

Buttery Delight


ohcurious14 59M
1683 posts
7/5/2006 11:03 am

If everyone , including the president would MTOB we all would be better off.
They played America The Beautiful as one of the songs in the Fireworks last night. Was as always a very patriotic Fireworks Display.Glad yours was good as well.


ButteryDelight 58F

7/5/2006 2:23 pm

    Quoting ohcurious14:
    If everyone , including the president would MTOB we all would be better off.
    They played America The Beautiful as one of the songs in the Fireworks last night. Was as always a very patriotic Fireworks Display.Glad yours was good as well.
Ahhh but can the president who is a leader and makes decisions really just take care of himself and his country and no one else?

Yes..had a good fourth this year and the year in my story.


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