As the Fourth of July celebration weekend winds down, I’ve been reflecting on the amazing country in which I am blessed to live. At first, I reflected on the lyrics of America the Beautiful, written by Katherine Lee Bates. Bates described in her hymn a joyous celebration of this great land: purple mountains majesty … amber waves of grain … alabaster cities. I’ve certainly found her lyrics meaningful.
When I was in choir (both in high school and college), America the Beautiful was an indispensable part of our choir presentation. In both choirs, we memorized the lyrics and often sang them a cappella, because a piano wasn’t always available for accompaniment.
Also during college, I traveled with a music group known as The Sound Generation. One of our most requested numbers was a medley (we called it the Patriotic Package) that included the songs God Bless America, America the Beautiful, and This Is My Country. I actually found a YouTube video of the medley. (This was taped after I had left the group, but a warning: don’t be surprised by the clothing/haircuts, etc. This was the early 70s.)
Today, I decided to post another poem (song, actually) from my archives. This poem was written about 1986 when the 100th year celebration of the Statue of Liberty was being celebrated. I think the National Park Service had done some renovation/restoration as a prelude to the anniversary. Once the restoration was done, there was a big celebration for the statue’s re-opening. No surprise here, I wrote a poem to mark the event!
The poem was written to be sung to the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. (I’ve included another video link featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and this is an especially inspiring rendition with the choir and accompanying instruments.)
We’re so fortunate in this country to enjoy the blessings of freedom and liberty. May we never forget!