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Lyr Req: America the Beautiful

DigiTrad:
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL


Related threads:
new verse: America, the Beautiful (11)
(origins) Origins: America, The Beautiful (38)
Chords Req: America the Beautiful (9)


bill\sables 06 Mar 99 - 07:25 AM
bill mcgowan 06 Mar 99 - 09:10 AM
Ferrara 06 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 06 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM
Ferrara 06 Mar 99 - 10:08 AM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 06 Mar 99 - 02:27 PM
Jim Dixon 13 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM
Amos 13 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM
Armen Tanzerian 13 Sep 01 - 10:14 PM
Little Hawk 13 Sep 01 - 10:33 PM
DougR 14 Sep 01 - 02:08 AM
Joe Offer 14 Sep 01 - 03:37 AM
Steve Parkes 14 Sep 01 - 03:49 AM
DougR 14 Sep 01 - 07:11 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 01 - 07:19 PM
Jim Dixon 14 Sep 01 - 07:21 PM
GUEST,Genie 18 Sep 01 - 05:21 AM
John Hardly 18 Sep 01 - 09:24 AM
GUEST,stonejohn 18 Sep 01 - 09:38 AM
GUEST,clifford morris 18 Sep 01 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,Genie 18 Sep 01 - 10:19 PM
Justa Picker 18 Sep 01 - 10:31 PM
Lepus Rex 19 Sep 01 - 01:43 AM
GUEST 19 Sep 01 - 01:49 AM
GUEST 19 Sep 01 - 01:54 AM
GUEST,Genie 22 Sep 01 - 12:45 AM
Shula 11 Jul 04 - 05:50 AM
Dani 11 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Louise 11 Jul 04 - 03:52 PM
Joe_F 11 Jul 04 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Turkey 11 Jul 04 - 10:50 PM
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Subject: America the Beautiful
From: bill\sables
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 07:25 AM

I am looking for the words of this song which was sung at the L.A. olympics I've done a search in the database but can't find it. All you U.S. mudcatters probably learned it at school,


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: bill mcgowan
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 09:10 AM

first verse

oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain

America America , God shed His light on thee and crown they good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Ferrara
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 09:24 AM

2. Oh beautiful for pilgrim feet / Whose stern, impassioned stress / A thoroughfare for freedom beat / Across the wilderness

America, America,/ God mend thine every flaw / Confirm thy soul in self control, / Thy liberty in law.

3. Oh beautiful for patriots' dream / That sees beyond the years / Thine alabaster cities gleam, / Undimmed by human tears

America, America, --- ??? whoops, forget this part. Will see if it comes back.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 09:46 AM

America the Beautiful: "America America...etc" is always the same refrain. This was written by Katherine Lee Bates after she had been to Pikes Peak in Colorado. I forget who wrote the music... Samuel somebody, I think. Anyway, for those of us who loath the Star Speckled Bugger, our national anthem, I've heard that there's a group called something like "the Society to promote America the Beautiful"- wouldn't it be a nice anthem? Celebrating our natural resources, rather than the unsingable "bombs bursting in air"


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Subject: ADD: America the Beautiful^^
From: Ferrara
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 10:08 AM

HI. I went to the unprecedented trouble of walking into the living room and looking it up. Honest, Animaterra, it's a different refrain in every verse, or rather in each of the first three verses.

Here it is, as shown on Page 1 of "Rise Up Singing." [Aside - there are lots of problems with RUS, but I know most of the words to most of the verses of about eight thousand songs, and I've had access to the DT since its beginning, and I still sometimes go to RUS for lyrics. You just have to watch out for typos and mis-heard words.]
1. 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


2. O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned 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.


3. 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
Til all success be nobleness
And ev'ry gain divine.


4. 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.
^^
OO


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 06 Mar 99 - 02:27 PM

Wow! We always sing just the same refrain as verse one! However, we only sing what you've listed as one and four, so I guess that's why. Thanks for the research! I was too lazy to go look it up! Allison


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM

By the way, Ray Charles got the meaning wrong when he sang "God done shed his grace on thee." "Shed" is the subjunctive and it means, "May God shed his grace on thee."


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Amos
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 07:57 PM

Jim:

No disagreement in this context. But it's also the past perfect. "The white cat shed all over Maizy's dark fur coat during last night's dinner party."


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Armen Tanzerian
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:14 PM

I read the line as almost imperative (if one can instruct God), but the important fact is America the Beautiful should clearly be our national anthem. But mentions of "brotherhood", "self-control", "liberty in law" probably make it too liberal-civil-rightsy for the current power elite to ever give it a chance.

But isn't it a great tune? Especially the verse we all know -- I love the imagery.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Sep 01 - 10:33 PM

I've seen a whole lot of America, and it is beautiful all right. Western Pennsylvania, the Apallachians, New England, the Rockies, the Pacific Northwest. Yeah, man! Lots of material for inspiration there.

- LH


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: DougR
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 02:08 AM

I really wish this was our national anthem.

DougR


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 03:37 AM

I've always loved this song and thought it would be a wonderful national anthem, but someone in another thread objected to it being sung this week because it is too religious in its perspective. The song brings Christians, Jews, and Moslems together, but does it exclude others? If we are to be inclusive of all, must we remove mention of God from all public gatherings?

What do people think of this? How far do we have to go to be inclusive? I live in California, a state which nervously refers to December 25 as "The Holiday" for fear of offending somebody - and that really bothers me because I think it's wrong to cleanse all aspects of our culture and language from the religions that are part of its history. On the other hand, it would make me a bit nervous to choose a national anthem that seems so much like a religious hymn (although the current anthem is too militaristic for me).

What do you think? I'm a bit afraid to bring this topic up this week because emotions are running high, but I think it's a valid question. "America the Beautiful" does seem to be a religious hymn. We sing it in church, and we don't sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Is it appropriate to sing "America the Beautiful" at public gatherings?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 03:49 AM

I only know this song by reputation--naturally, you don't hear it often on this side of the Pond. I was struck by the line "God mend thine ev'ry flaw": it's unusual tofind a song of this kind that admits to flaws. If only He would mend all our countries' flaws! But I guess we have to do that ourselves.

Steve


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: DougR
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 07:11 PM

I see nothing wrong in singing it at public events. I, myself, never thought about it as a religious song. Others do, though, I guess including you, Joe.

It is such a beautiful song, I think, and even though it is in our hymnal (Episcopal) I don't recall our ever singing it in church until today at the special prayer service.

DougR


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 07:19 PM

Joe, I too would prefer "America the Beautiful" as our national anthem, for the same reasons you give, but I think it would be hard to persuade the public to accept it as such.

But I see nothing wrong with singing it at every opportunity.

Really, religion in public life is a problem only when (1) attendance is compulsory (as in public schools), (2) when government money is used to subsidize or encourage it, or (3) when government grants special privileges to one religion over another, or religious activities in general over non-religious ones.

I don't know what kind of gathering you had in mind when you asked if you should bring it up, but it seems to me that "America the Beautiful" would be unobjectionable in most contexts.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 14 Sep 01 - 07:21 PM

Joe, I should warn you that I tend to have a legalistic mind about such problems and I can't always predict what will offend people.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 05:21 AM

Jim D.and Armen,
The meaning of the "God shed his grace ..." line is clarified by the context of the whole line. If it were past tense, it would be "God shed his grace on thee and crowned thy good ... ." As the full line is written, it is obviously a plea to God, i.e., with an understood "May," as though the author is saying, "America, America, [may] God shed His grace on thee and crown thy good with brotherhood... ."
As much as I adore Ray Charles's version, from a musical and emotional standpoint, he does obscurethe meaning of that line when he says, "and won't you crown thy good with brotherhood ... "

BTW, I think the second verse--especially the last two lines--is one of the best parts of the song. It is this aspect of humility that makes it a fitting national anthem--not the kind of chauvinism that is reflected in so many "patriotic" songs.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 09:24 AM

Another strong vote here for having this as our national anthem. (heck, it isn't even a borrowed tune!)


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,stonejohn
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 09:38 AM

Okay, so how do we get this to be our National Anthem?


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,clifford morris
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 09:50 PM

200 years of tradition are hard to buck. The militaristic nature of the Star Spangled Banner fails to offend pacifists, such as me, given the historical context. The song is very difficult, even for well trained voices to sing. That may be the strongest criticism. America the Beautiful, and God Bless America are beautiful, easy to sing songs. This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land also deserves serious consideration. As with all American issues, we decide the result. Tell your elected representatives what you want, AND VOTE!


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 10:19 PM

In defense of The Star Spangled Banner,
•The first verse--which is the only one most people sing-- is not "militaristic. It is set in wartime, when we were under attack, and it has to do with being inspired by the survival of our nation's emblem.
•It is really not that hard to sing as long as it is in your key. The problem is when groups, with different vocal ranges, try to sing it in unison. But we don't sing it often as groups any more.
•It is secular, which may be important for a country with people of various belief systems, including Buddhists, Hindus, atheists, pagans, secular humanists, agnostics, as well as Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

While I love "America the Beautiful" -- all four verses--, The "God shed His grace ... " line would probably prevent it from being adopted as our nationa anthem today. Also, the first verse, which is the only one people usually sing, is mostly about the beauty of our landscape (as Katherine Bates saw it from Pike's Peak) and not about the things that really make America special. I think "land of the free and the home of the brave" is more salient than "amber waves of grain."

Personally, I'd prefer "This Is My Song, O God of All The Nations," to either one of them, because it honors our country without being chauvinistic. But that will never become our anthem, I'm afraid.

Genie


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Justa Picker
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 10:31 PM

He might have gotten a few words wrong, but NUTHIN' beats Ray Charles singing it!


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 01:43 AM

I really, really despise this song. Sounds like a cheap religious greeting card to me. Sorry. :)

Why would anyone want something that's easy to sing, anyway? Life is supposed to be difficult.

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 01:49 AM

See "Lyric Add: America, The Beautiful" thread for new verse.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 01:54 AM

See also, "New songs for 9-11-01" thread.

(Clicky, anyone?)


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,Genie
Date: 22 Sep 01 - 12:45 AM

Lepus, Are you thinking of the whole song or just the first verse?
For what it's worth, the third verse, with one or two very minor word changes, applies very much to America's current crisis -- especially to NYC:

"Oh, 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 every gain divine."

That does not sound like Hallmark to me.

(Just change "in liberating strife" to "in times of strain and strife," or "in terrorism's strife," and it really fits.

Genie


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Shula
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 05:50 AM

Dear Folks,

I heard, long ago -- and I can't remember where -- that there was once a move in Congress to have ATB designated the national anthem, but the idea was overridden by members who objected to having a national anthem written by a woman. Does anyone have the real story on this?

Shula


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Dani
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 09:50 AM

Well, I should have known such an important topic would attract an erudite gathering! What a nice way to start my morning.

If they left it up to y'all, the deed would be done: and so it should be. Let's do it!

It seems to me that very many people (including me!) heard all the rest of these wonderful verses and refrains after 9/11 when everything patriotic was trotted out. It's some of the most lovely poetry I know. And I have to say that impromptu and town gatherings were truly stirring when people gathered and sang ALL these songs, not just 'the baseball song'.

I think Jim's spoken wisely about religion and public life: those are the ways we get in trouble, and then there's this knee-jerk thing that gets the rest of us in trouble!

On the 4th this year, CSPAN radio played a recording of the US Supreme Court arguments in a case about the Establishment Clause, and the chaplaincy in the Nebraska State Legislature. The whole time, my husband and I were listening and cheering: "See, they PAY him! No one else has been considered for the job! He mentions Jesus Christ!" There were a thousand reasons (we thought) the Legislature was on the wrong road. But then lo and behold, the practice was upheld.

And thus we get a little shy of 'other people's' God, forgetting that it is our own as well. And if you're an atheist, there's got to be SOMEONE you hope will mend thine every flaw, isn't there ;) ?

Dani


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,Louise
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 03:52 PM

Speaking of other people, William Raspberry wrote an interesting column about this song in the Washington Post last Monday (July 5, 2004). Here are a couple of quotes from his piece:
"I'll know that today is the "Fourth of July" (no matter what the calendar insists) when I hear my friend's stereo pulsing out "America the Beautiful. The Ray Charles version, of course." ...."Charles transformed the holiday for me -- from the Norman Rockwell tableaux that never seemed to include anyone who looked like me -- to a holiday for all Americans"
   Sorry I can't make a link to the page, but you have to log in to www.washingtonpost.com to read the column, and after one week it may be archived to a diferent location on the site. I found it today (after logging in) by clicking on the "opinion" link near the top of the page, then "columnists" on the left of the page and scrolling down to William Raspberry's name


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: Joe_F
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 06:15 PM

I agree that "shed" is subjunctive, and the line is in form a prayer -- cf. "God bless you" & "God save the Queen". This construction is used every day without any hint of instructing God %^).

My understanding is that what has foiled every attempt to replace "The Star-Spangled Banner" is that, for better of for worse, it has an enormous weight of tradition behind it -- and in such a ceremonial question, tradition is entitled to more weight than in some other matters. It is worth noting that Congress did not get around to making it official until the 1930s; up to that time it had no support but popular sentiment.

That "America the Beautiful" mentions God is *not* an objection in the opinion of this atheist. For one thing, the present anthem does the same, if you make it as far as the fourth stanza. But in any case, an occasional nod in the directino of our fellow citizens' consolations is not going to do us any harm.

If it actually came to a vote on the merits, I think I would go for "America the Beautiful". There are enough bombs bursting in real life without their getting into ceremonial songs; and it would be nice to have a tune that everybody could sing at once.


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Subject: RE: America the Beautiful
From: GUEST,Turkey
Date: 11 Jul 04 - 10:50 PM

I think that the USA should doze both them songs under the rubbish heap.    The Star Spangled Banner is a song about war. Well I think that too many dumb sumbitches have given their lives in war, for no other reason but that the rich, bastards' corporations could cash in on their sacrifice.

Now the second song is about God shedding his grace on this "Christian" country. Well I think that too many times these same dumb bunnies have been hornswaggled out of their hard earned money so some of these "God-guys" can cozy up to another 11 year old boy or two. I vote for "Turkey in the Straw" as the new national anthem.


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