Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Song

America, the Beautiful
Katherine Lee Bates


O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountains 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, impassioned 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 proved 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 every grain 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.


Katherine Lee Bates was a professor from Wellesley College and decided to visit Pike's Peak after a visit to the Chicago's World's Fair in 1893. While at the top, enjoying the view, the first lines of the hymn entered her mind. She wrote the four stanzas in a notebook and later copied them and sent them to The Congregationalist where they appeared in print for the first time on July 4, 1895. It was later re-written by Bates in 1904 in a more simple style.

10 comments:

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

I love that song. When I saw the title I started singing the song in my head!

Kim said...

Courtney's chorus at school recently sang that along with many others. She'll love to hear the history behind it.

Mandi said...

Perfect song for this week!

Sunny said...

I used to live at the base of Pike's Peak. Went to the top and they have a little kinda of memorial thingy (what do you call these???) up there with this song. Looking out from the top, you can't help but sing the song inside your heart.

Betsy said...

What a great song to remember this week....we must try to believe in the good will of all and that both canadites are wanting the best for our country. Thanks!

Amy said...

I love this series! Such familiar songs take on a whole new meaning when you read the words and hear the story behind the lyrics. Thank you!

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

Great post, wonderful song, love the history.

Jenna said...

I love that song - it has a very special meaning to me. Thank you for sharing!

Jenni @ nest to keep said...

I love this song; the words are amazing! What a great song to post on this particular week!

Have a great day! :)

At Home In Georgia said...

This is one of my favorites. When I was younger my family did drive to the top of Pikes Peak and my dad told us that story. The mountains do look purple from up there! I always remember that day. My kids LOVE the CD Yankee Doodle Mickey and I love that they listen to it so they know a few of our countries most patriotic songs...well they play this song and my kids noticed that phrase so I told them what it meant. I hope to take them up to the top of Pikes Peak so they can see for themselves...and plant that seed of patriotism in them.