Appreciating all that makes America special

“America the Beautiful”

America the Beautiful,

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain…Uploaded by

“America the Beautiful” is in our pantheon of greatest patriotic songs, right there with “God Bless America,” “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” and of course, “The Star Spangled Banner.” You could make the argument that any of the first three would make a better national anthem than the last, but that’s a discussion for another day.

America the Beautiful,

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The lyrics and music of “America the Beautiful” were penned at different times. Katharine Lee Bates wrote the words as a poem originally titled “Pikes Peak” and published in 1895. The music by Samuel A. Ward was originally written for a hymn called “O Mother Dear, Jerusalem” in 1882. Words and music finally came together in 1904, and the song has remained a popular favorite ever since.

Our country is struggling as this is written, but we still have the beautiful amber waves of grain, the unforgettable purple mountain majesties, and luscious fruited plains. But my favorite verse of this song is the third: “O beautiful for patriot dream/ That sees beyond the years/ Thine alabaster cities gleam/ Undimmed by human tears.”

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