Saturday, 28 March 2015

My Country, Tis Of Thee Lyrics and Story - Samuel Francis Smith, 1808-1895

My Country Tis Of Thee Hymn Story


A STUDENT, twenty-three years old, studying in Andover Theological Seminary for the Baptist ministry, wrote the American national hymn in less than a half hour on the second day of February, 1832. His name was Samuel F. Smith, the author also of "The morning light is breaking." The words were in part inspired by the tune we call "America," which he had found in a German collection of songs loaned to him shortly before by Lowell Mason, that master editor of hymn-books in the early nineteenth century. Mason had secured the book from William C. Woodbridge. 

Authorities have disagreed as to where the tune came from whether Saxony, Russia, Sweden, or England, in all of which countries it has been popularly sung to patriotic words. Because of its striking similarity to certain ancient tunes, it has been claimed by various writers to have come from an old French tune or a still older Scottish carol.

Samuel Francis Smith
The probabilities are and on this most editors agree today that the first man to write the tune in nearly its present form was Henry Carey, an English composer, who lived from 1685 until 1743. Once when regret was expressed to Dr. Smith that his American national hymn is sung to the same tune as the British hymn, he replied : "I do not share this regret. On the contrary, I deem it a new and beautiful bond of union between the mother country and her daughter." The hymn was first sung July 4, 1832, at a children's patriotic celebration in Boston. 


My Country Tis Of Thee Lyrics


My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry 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 mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
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.


Additional verse to celebrate Washington's Centennial:

Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toils and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.


Additional verses by Henry van Dyke:

We love thine inland seas,
Thy groves and giant trees,
Thy rolling plains;
Thy rivers' mighty sweep,
Thy mystic canyons deep,
Thy mountains wild and steep,--
All thy domains.

Thy silver Eastern strands,
Thy Golden Gate that stands
Fronting the West;
Thy flowery Southland fair,
Thy North's sweet, crystal air:
O Land beyond compare,
We love thee best!


Additional Abolitionist verses by A. G. Duncan, 1843

My country, 'tis of thee,
Stronghold of slavery, of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man’s rights deride,
From every mountainside thy deeds shall ring!

My native country, thee,
Where all men are born free, if white’s their skin;
I love thy hills and dales,
Thy mounts and pleasant vales;
But hate thy negro sales, as foulest sin.

Let wailing swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees the black man’s wrong;
Let every tongue awake;
Let bond and free partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of Liberty, to thee we sing;
Soon may our land be bright,
With holy freedom’s right,
Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King.

It comes, the joyful day,
When tyranny’s proud sway, stern as the grave,
Shall to the ground be hurl’d,
And freedom’s flag, unfurl’d,
Shall wave throughout the world, O’er every slave.

Trump of glad jubilee!
Echo o’er land and sea freedom for all.
Let the glad tidings fly,
And every tribe reply,
"Glory to God on high," at Slavery’s fall.

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/miscellaneouslyrics/patrioticsongslyrics/mycountrytisoftheelyrics.html

For more lyrics and stories of old hymns visit here.

My Country Tis Of Thee Youtube Video.



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