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America the Beautiful | Lyrics

from the MMF Songbook




America the Beautiful was written by Samuel A. Ward (Music) and Katharine Lee Bates (Lyrics). Katharine Lee Bates (1859 - 1929), professor of English at Wellesley College, wrote the lyrics to America the Beautiful during the summer of 1893, while lecturing at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Bates joined a group that took a wagon and mule ride, followed by a hike to the top of 14,000 foot-high Pike's Peak. Overwhelmed by the glory of what she saw, Bates drafted all four verses in her notebook.

Lyrics for 'America the Beautiful'

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 prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov'd
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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