Monday, June 29, 2009
“God Bless America!”
by John Alexander Madison
June 29, 2009
“…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” (from the Statue of Liberty inscription in New York harbour)
So many people, over so many years, and in so many ways have praised the United States of America as the “greatest nation on Earth.” In terms of the sacrifice of human lives and national treasure in defense of other nations it is hard to argue the point.
As we enter the week during which we will celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence for the 233rd year, it seems appropriate to recall some of the lyrics and songs which capture the enduring spirit of our nation. Hopefully, it will also inspire each and every citizen to continue to believe that our representative democracy is the best form of government in the world.
As surely as we all support the popular bumper sticker “Never, never, ever hurt a child” so too should we shout from our rooftops “Never, never, ever let a Socialistic agenda take over our country. Never.” This is and always will be the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’
Below are a few selected, partial lyrics of some of our nation’s most patriotic songs. I hope you continue to enjoy and remember them as I have, yet again, this week and every week throughout the year.
“AMERICA, THE BEAUTIFUL”
by Katharine Lee Bates (1913)
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!
“THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER”
By Francis Scott Key (1814)
…Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
“THE STATUE OF LIBERTY SONG”
Music by Mrs. Barbara Silberg; lyrics from the inscription on the Statue of Liberty
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
…Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
“YOU’RE A GRAND OLD FLAG”
Music and lyrics by George M. Cohen
You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
“STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER”
by John Philip Sousa
Let martial note in triumph float
And liberty extend its mighty hand
A flag appears 'mid thunderous cheers,
The banner of the Western land.
The emblem of the brave and true
Its folds protect no tyrant crew;
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.
Other nations may deem their flags the best
And cheer them with fervid elation
But the flag of the North and South and West
Is the flag of flags, the flag of Freedom's nation.
“THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND”
By Woody Guthrie
This land is your land,
This land is my land,
To the New York Island,
From the redwood forest,
To the Gulf stream waters,
This land was made for you and me.
While these are some of the most popular all-time favorite patriotic songs other songs have inspired millions over the years and they continue to do so…including the songs of each branch of our armed services: Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder; Anchors Aweigh; The Army Song; (The) Caissons Go Rolling Along (the Field Artillery song); Always Ready (Semper Paratus, the Coast Guard song); The Marine Hymm; The United States Merchant Marine Anthem.
In closing, let’s join together and sing...
“GOD BLESS AMERICA”
by Irving Berlin (1918, 1938)
While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer.
God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.
Suggested reading for the week in which we are celebrating the 4th of July:
“What’s so Great About America?”
by Dinesh D’Souza
Excerpt from Mr. D’Souza’s web site (www.dinishdsouza.com):
But who is truly virtuous, asks D'Souza, a society that enforces Talibanic edicts or the West, where virtue is a free-will choice? Where else in the world has the value and potential of the individual been more fully realized than in America?
D'Souza argues that, more than any other country, America allows people the chance to "write the script of their own lives." This is why the idea of America is so appealing to immigrants and to young people around the world.
Thoughtful and engaging, What’s So Great About America offers the grounds for a solid, well-considered patriotism—the sort of patriotism that America will need to sustain itself in the many challenges that lie ahead.” In our own country, on the political left, there are still those who blame America for every ill in the world. And left-wing multiculturalism—dominant in our own schools and universities—teaches students that Western and American culture is no better than, and probably worse than, Third World cultures. Even on the political Right, traditionally the home of patriotism, there are those who say that America has become so decadent that we are "slouching towards Gamorrah" and should expect "the death of the West."
But in What’s So Great about America, best-selling author Dinesh D'Souza takes on all of America’s critics and proves them wrong—as perhaps only a writer with an immigrant’s understanding of this country can. He defends not an idealized America, but America as it really is, and measures America not against utopia, but against the rest of the world in a provocative, challenging book.”