One of the most popular of all the patriotic songs we Americans treasure, America the Beautiful exemplifies our pride in not only our citizens but the allure of our natural surroundings.
The words and music were written by two different people in two different places at two different times, and they never met. The lyrics were penned as a poem by Katharine Lee Bates originally titled “Pikes Peak”. Samuel A. Ward composed “Materna” for a hymn. The music and lyrics first appeared together in 1910. Since then the song has been recorded, re-recorded, and recorded again by anyone and everyone. Bing Crosby to Ray Charles, every county singer ever, and even Coca-Cola.
The song is starkly different than The Star-Spangled Banner and for many people elicits different, but no less patriotic emotions. The emotions are patriotic none the less.
“O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!”
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