There are many, but I think my two favorites are America the Beautiful and This Land is Your Land. The first because it speaks to the yearning we all have for that place called home and expresses that deeply held wish that the place we love continue to be the place we can be proud of. The second because it is a reminder that this country is a country of the people – not the rich “success stories” – the people. That each one of us is a stakeholder. Thank you Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger and all of your ilk:)!
I’ve gathered some pictures from the internet to express my hopes and dreams for this place I call my country. I dream of the day it really becomes the Land of the Free – but it needs to be more the Home of the Brave before that happens (speaking strictly for myself and my own lack of courage from time to time!)
O beautiful for spacious skies
Above the fruited plain
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 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 ev’ry gain divine!
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!
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND words and music by Woody Guthrie
This land is your land, this land is my land From California, to the New York Island From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters This land was made for you and me
As I was walking a ribbon of highway I saw above me an endless skyway I saw below me a golden valley This land was made for you and me
I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts And all around me a voice was sounding This land was made for you and me
The sun comes shining as I was strolling The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling The fog was lifting a voice come chanting This land was made for you and me
As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there And that sign said – no tress passin’ But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin! Now that side was made for you and me!
In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple Near the relief office – I see my people And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’ If this land’s still made for you and me.
©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and 1970 TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. ( BMI)
It took a lot of courage to get this copyrighted in 1956 -especially with that last verse he so rarely sang!
to all you from the States, wherever you are, Happy Independence Day! And for those of you who are not from the USA, please forgive this small burst of love for the place I call home. You who love your homes and wish it could be better, as I do, I know you will understand. May god bless America with intelligence, compassion, generosity and faith. We need it!+