The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #50242   Message #761451
Posted By: Genie
07-Aug-02 - 03:24 PM
Thread Name: Chords Req: America the Beautiful
Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL (Bates/Ward)
Click here for another thread with lyrics and discussion.

A link to original sheet music for the song is here.

There's a MIDI here, but it's kinda "march-y" and probably a little faster than
you'd want to play it.

I'm a bit surprised this is not in the DT, since "America" ("My Country 'Tis Of Thee") is.

BTW, please note that the original lyric is "...purple mountain majesties," not -- as is increasingly common to hear on TV today -- "...purple mountains' majesty." I think Bates's poetry is diminished by that bit of folk drift, and I imagine it stems from people being too lazy to do their homework on the correct lyrics to a song before performing it before a nationwide audience. I commend you, Phil, for taking the time to follow up on what you found on the net.

Also, I have always seen the second verse printed (e.g., in hymnals) as "...God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul...," not
"...God mend thine every flaw, confirmed thy soul... ." The line is a kind of prayer that God will mend America's flaws and confirm America's soul in self-control -- not a statement that God has already done that.


PS, The chords in one of the sites Masato linked to seemed to be out of place, so here are the ones I use. (I sometimes throw in an Em or Bm, but they're really not needed.)

(Katherine Lee Bates ca. 1893; Samuel Ward ca. 1894

     G                  D                        D7                    G     D
O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
       G                        D              A            A7        D - D7
For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.
    G            D               D7                       G    -  G7
America, America! God shed His grace on thee,
           C                           G                        C       D7       G
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.