A Closer Look at Song “America”, wriitten by …shhhh!…a lesbian named Katharine Lee Bates

Hmmm, read the original lyrics yourselves and notice which have been changed.
Also have a look at who first penned the poem.

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What coud have been in her head as she drafted the original poem?
And how did the ones who edited it get away with slipping “gold & success” into the lyrics to replace the text about “selfish gain”? And then there’s a contrast wherein  “whiter jubilee” was replaced with “brotherhood”? Hmmmm?
Throught-provoking, no?

America. A Poem for July 4.

Original poem (1893)[6] 1904 version[citation needed] 1911 version[7]
O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!
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 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, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!
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.
O 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!
O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife,
When once or twice, for man’s avail, Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain,
The banner of the free!
O beautiful for glorious tale
Of liberating strife,
When valiantly for man’s avail
Men lavish precious life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.
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 every 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
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!
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.
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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About emanita01

I am a Franco-american woman who hails from Massachusetts. I live in France near the Swiss border, only minutes away from Geneva. I am a member of the Geneva Writers Group and the Association La Forge, a literary group based in France. I write stories, poems and am currently working on a couple of plays, a one-woman show and a dramatized poem.
This entry was posted in Poetry, Women & Wisdom and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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