I have been asked by a friend to sing America The Beautiful at a memorial service for his twin brother who died in the World Trade Centre last Sep 11. I live in Australia and, whilst I know of the song, I am not exactly familiar with it and would like some help working out an appropriate interpretation. In particular I would like to present the song in a way that it would be sung in America under similar circumstances.
The version of the words I downloaded from the net has 8 verses. Is it usual to sing all of them? The chord progressions in the music (again downloaded from the net) are, in parts, chromatic. I would have expected more simple progressions using 3 or 4 fundamental chords. Is it usual to play the chromatic progressions? In reading the words as I play the tune I feel it should be sung slowly, 1/4 = 100, but I have recently heard a version at 130 to 140. What is the more common tempo?
I will appreciate any advice anyone can give.