America the Beautiful

I regularly sing a few songs to LK and Pokado (and Squeaky if she’s awake) before they head to bed, but last night I exchanged my usual singing routine in recognition of today–Independence Day. They are familiar with patriotic songs, but they haven’t heard them a great deal so I picked a few I especially enjoy to share with them. When I finished with “America the Beautiful,” LK turned to me with wonderment and said, “Mommy, which one was that?”

I’d call that a positive reaction.

America the Beautiful
Katherine Lee Bates (1913)

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!

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