The Home of The Brave

Independence day, what a time in our nations history! A day when many men signed their names at the bottom of a document to king George the third. A document that began
   "We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."  
 How far indeed have we fallen from such a belief as a nation!
       At first when I was trying to decide what I would post about for today, I immediately decided against the national anthem. Why? Because everyone and his Uncle will be throwing up dozens of arrangements of it on youtube and writing a thousand posts about it too! So I said to myself, 'how about something a little more obscure and yet still a beautiful song to commemorate that celebratory day that marked the beginning of our country as we know it today!'
   What did I settle on?  "My Country 'tis of Thee"

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!
This is one of my favorite patriotic songs, the tune was originally that of England's "God save the King" (or Queen, depending on who was reigning at the time!) The lyrics are also lovely, they were written by Samuel Francis Smith. while a student at Andover Theological Seminary in Andover Massechusets in 1831, his friend Lowell Mason asked him to translate the lyrics in some German school songbooks or to write new lyrics. A melody in Muzio Clementi's Symphony No. 3 caught his attention and rather than translating the lyrics from German, Smith wrote his own American patriotic hymn to the melody, completing the lyrics in thirty minutes. I'd say that's pretty good; I don't know many people who could write something as good as the above in thirty minutes! Notice all the rhyming in each verse; the three lines which have the same rhyming word at the end, when I write poetry, I struggle to find even two words that rhyme and fit the context of the poem, but Smith did three! And it all makes perfect sense too! 
 Below I will share a video just in case you haven't heard it, though I'm sure you have, nearly everybody has, but listen to it anyway!

This isn't the only song I wanted to share with you all, however, does any one know which song came pretty near becoming the national anthem and probably would have been had Francis Scott Key not penned "The Star Spangled Banner" ?  If you do than good! Because I actually had no idea, in fact I never even heard of the song until very recently. "What is the song?" you ask eagerly(or perhaps anxiously!) 
 "Hail Columbia!"
Columbia was a poetic name for America and is still played for what you might call the "Triumphal Entry" for the vice President. And also used for slow military marches, I really like the words and the tune is extremely stirring and noble. I must rush this post if I am to get it posted today so, here are the lyrics and the tune.
Firm, united let us be,
               Rallying round our liberty,
                                 As a band of brothers joined,
                                                         Peace and safety we shall find!
 Have a joyful independence day as you celebrate our nation's birth!

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