America The Beautiful

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!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion'd 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 ev'ry gain 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!
Katharine Lee Bates

Miss Bates was inspired to write a patriotic verse in 1892
in recognition of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America.
The following year Miss bates was visiting and teaching, during the summer months,
in the state of Colorado.
It was while viewing the countryside from the beautiful summit of Pike's Peak,
a summit which towers more than 14,000 feet above sea level,
that she was further inspired to write a national anthem 
that would describe the majesty and vastness of our great land.
She writes, "It was there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse
of fertile country spreading away so far under the ample skies,
that the opening lines of this test formed themselves in my mind."
Still later in that same year of 1893,
Miss Bates visited the Columbian Expostition of the World's Fair
that ran for several years in Chicago.
On the site of this exposition, magnificent buildings were erected.
Every structure designed by Daniel Burnham, was a masterpiece of planning,
construction, and beauty.
She writes, "The expression 'Alabaster Cities' was the direct result of this visit.
It made such a strong appeal to my patriotic feelings that it was, in no small degree,
responsible for at least the last stanza.
It was my desire to compare the unusual beauties of God's nature in this country
with the distinctive spectacles created by man."

Though this text sparkles with descriptive language,
it is interesting to note, that each stanza is rounded of with the earnest prayer,
that God will always help our land to attain its real destiny.
The hymn also reminds us forcibly of our noble heritage, 
the Pilgrims as well as liberating heroes.
- Taken from 101 More Hymn Stories - Kenneth W. Osbeck -

Have a blessed Lord's Day!
I hope each and every one of you had a wonderful Fourth of July.


Debbie Harris said...

Wow, Stephanie, this was just beautiful! That U tube was something else, magnificent!!
I especially enjoyed the history on Katharine Lee Bates.
And then, you're photos of your fireworks, very nice. :-)
Excellent post, thank you!
Much love, Mom

silverfeather said...

Perfect post Stephanie...beautiful music video, some wonderful hymn history and pretty firework pics. Thanks for sharing your lovely tribute!

donna said...

Beautiful my dear.

Nina said...

The music is wonderful, and your photos of the fireworks so pretty!
I hope you've had a great 4th of July weekend, my friend :)
Hugs and blessings, Nina

Debbie said...

awwww, what a beautiful entry, one i really enjoyed!!

wishing you a happy 4th, on the 6th!!

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

We sang a slew of patriotic hymns in church this morning. It was stirring, inspiring. Pastor's sermon tied right in.
Then a big church picnic and the most hilarious team games. Can I just say that my husband was soaked with water by the end -but the Stars beat the Stripes in a Penalty kick off. This is a new church to us and so far we are liking it.
Blessings upon you and yours, dear Stephanie!

Ceil said...

Hi Stephanie! What a beautiful post to look at, and to read. I love to learn, and you gave me some great new insights to Miss Bates!
I hope you had a lovely 4th celebration :)

forgetmenotsblue said...

Happy 4th of July its a bit late I know.
Wishing you a happy week x

Miss Val's Creations said...

I hope you had an amazing 4th of July Stephanie! This is a beautiful post. The orchestra does a fabulous job! One of my goals in life is to visit every state in the U.S. I think I can do it!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a beautiful post, dear one! I loved learning the history of that special song. Thank you for sharing that, the gorgeous photos and the video of the song, itself. xo

camp and cottage living said...

What a beautiful dedication to the day of celebration!
I enjoyed the story behind the song. It was interesting that she wrote this the same year that my Indiana fourth Reader was published originally. It was a different world then....

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I love the history behind all our treasures of this amazing country!America is so beautiful! I have seen so many pretty places.
This vacation has been so wonderful! I want to thank you for your lovely Guest post you wrote for me! I do miss my home and my family out west!
Still seeing fireworks each night!
xo Roxy

Patty Sumner said...

I love reading the stories behind great hymns and songs.... It is amazing how God will stir in the life of an individual guiding them to write such beautiful and touching songs...Even more evidence that God is real and over all! Thanks, I enjoyed this.. Blessings!

Gail Dixon said...

Hi Stephanie! I'm so behind on blogging. I hope you had a wonderful 4th. I loved learning about the history of America the Beautiful. The bible verse is certainly one to think about as this country continues in the direction it has. Sigh.

vic said...

Beautiful Stephanie :) love the fireworks too I hope you had a great day!!
Vic x

Wanda said...

Stephanie ~ what a beautiful tribute to our wonderful country.

I love the history of the song too.

Pamela said...

I so enjoyed this, Stephanie. What a beautiful country we live in and I don't celebrate it enough. ~Pamela

Sarah said...

Lovely post Stephanie! So enjoyed the story of "America the Beautiful".


Anonymous said...

Happy Belated 4th of July, Stephanie! I've been busy with family visiting. Did you take those fireworks photographs? So vibrant!

Celestina Marie said...

Dear Stephanie, what a wonderful post filled with the love of country. We are so blessed in America!!
Thank you for sharing the info here and always your way of touching the heart.
God has blessed you with grace and you share it with others.
Loved the fireworks pics too.

Have a nice evening.

Bethany Carson said...

Beautiful fireworks photos! America the Beautiful is one of my favorite hymns.

Linda Walker said...

Hi Stephanie,
Such a beautiful, inspiring post! Reminds us we all have much to be thankful for! I also enjoyed the history, really interesting! Hope you enjoyed the 4th with your family!

Anne Payne said...

I hope you enjoyed your 4th! It's been a little hectic here and I'm sorry I didn't get by sooner. America the Beautiful has always been one of my favorites.

JES said...

You always share the most inspiring and beautiful. I love the history lesson too! :) Thank you for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays. Please join us again next week dearie :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...


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