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"America the Beautiful"


Title of Song:

"America the Beautiful"

The Lyrics:

The words of this song came from a poem of the same title by Katharine Lee Bates (1859 -1929). She wrote the poem in 1893 and then revised it twice; first in 1904 and then in 1913. Bates was a teacher, poet and author of several books including America the Beautiful and Other Poems which was published in 1911.

The Melody:

The melody of the song was written in 1882 by composer and organist Samuel Augustus Ward (1847-1903) and was originally titled "Materna." The lyrics combined with the melody was first published in 1910. This tune, which is now greatly associated with "America the Beautiful," wasn't used until 1910. Before that, the song was sung to popular folk tunes like "Auld Lang Syne."

The Song Today:

Many consider "America the Beautiful" as the unofficial national anthem of the United States. In fact, it was one of the songs being considered as the U.S. national anthem before "Star Spangled Banner" was officially chosen. This song is sometimes played during formal ceremonies or at the opening of an important event.


Many artists have recorded their own rendition of this patriotic song, including Elvis Presley, Ray Charles and Mariah Carey

Interesting Facts:

A trek to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado is believed to have inspired Katharine Lee Bates to pen the lyrics to "America the Beautiful."

Lyrics (Excerpt):

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Related Video:

Watch the late Ray Charles as he sings "America the Beautiful" courtesy of YouTube.

Music Sheet:

Free piano sheet music from FreeScores.Com

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