America the Song, 1832


February, 1832

America is sung to the tune of the British song “God Save the King.”  It was written by Reverend Samuel Smith in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1832.  It was performed publicly for the first time during an Independence Day Celebration in Boston the same year, and went on to become one of the nation’s most beloved ballads.  Most Americans, young and old alike, can recite its first verse.  But the song is most significant in its entirety, as specially the last verse.

My country ‘tis of thee

Sweet land of liberty:

Of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died

Land of the pilgrims’ pride

From every mountainside

Let freedom ring.

My native country – thee

Land of the noble free

Thy name I love;

I love thy rocks and rills

Thy woods and templed hills

My heart with rapture thrills

Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze

And ring from all the trees

Sweet freedom’s song

Let all that breathe partake

Let mortal tongues awake

Let rocks their silence break

The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God to thee

Author of liberty

To thee we sing

Long may our land be bright

With freedom’s holy light

Protect us by thy might

Great God, our King.

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