Independence Day--America the Beautiful

Oh Beautiful for spacious skies.... so begins Katherine Bates' beautiful hymn. Have you ever stood on top of Pikes Peak? I haven't but that's where the author stood when moved with awe at the majestic panorama open below her. I've never stood atop Pikes Peak but I have stood and looked out from many other mountain vistas and felt the awe Mrs. Bates must have felt. The stirring music in this song that makes your heart swell within you and makes you want to belt out the song with all that you have in you, was composed by Rev. Samuel A. Ward.  The reason I decided to post this song instead of the National Anthem, is because I wanted to share the original verses of this song with you. They're not what we're used to. But I like them better. First listen to the video, which is a lovely rendition of the song and then read the lyrics below.


O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man's avail,
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!
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
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

America! May it always remain free. Men fought and died for our freedom. Let's not become complacent about it and let the government take it away from us! God has blessed this country From the Pilgrim fathers who first came here seeking for freedom to worship The Lord, to the great George Washington who loved his country more then he loved his own peace and quiet and led the continental army to victory, down to the millions of young men who fell on the beeches of Iwo-Jima in defense of America's freedom. 
    America! May God continue to shed his grace on thee!

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