Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




America, the Beautiful
y Katharine Lee Bates

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 prov'd
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.

"America the Beautiful" is not just a song, it is a prayer.

"God Bless America"

We heard this phrase a lot in the days following 9-11. But do we really want God intervening in human history, changing things, ruling things, undoing what man has done? Isn't deism more comfortable: God creating the universe but stepping back, refusing to get involved in any way, letting man the new god have his own way? 

Are we a nation of hypocrites?

God Bless America, by Irving Berlin

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.

God Bless America.
Land that I love
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies ,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home."

see also USA Today: 

Every "solemn prayer" is a request for God to take charge. Every prayer is a request for Theocracy.

"America the Beautiful" was written by the professor, poet, and writer, Katharine Lee Bates. Bates wrote the song in 1893 while on a trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado. When she got to the top of Pike’s Peak, she said, "All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse". The view was so beautiful that it inspired her to write the song that is considered by some to be the country’s unofficial national anthem.

"America the Beautiful" first appeared in print in The Congregationalist, a weekly journal, on July 4, 1895. Within a few months, it was set to music by Silas G. Pratt. Bates revised the song in 1904, after receiving many requests to use the song in publications and special services. An additional change was made to the wording of the third verse in 1913, to give us the version we know today.

For two years after "America the Beautiful" was written it was sung to just about any popular or folk tune that would fit with the lyrics. "Auld Lang Syne" was the most popular of these tunes. In 1926, the National Federation of Music Clubs had a contest to put the poem to music. None of the entries seemed to fit the poem. Today, "America the Beautiful" is sung to Samuel A. Ward’s "Materna". Before her death in 1929, Ms. Bates never indicated publicly which music she liked best.

Ben's Guide -- America the Beautiful
Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids is brought to the World Wide Web as a service of the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

Music by The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band. | MP3s available for download

"Ya'll oughta love Him for it . . . ."