"America the Beautiful" for Memorial Day 2017

Joyful Music Studio students participated in the Sheboygan Falls Memorial Day parade for the second year on Monday, May 29, 2017.

Students decorated a float featuring lyrics from the beloved patriotic song "America the Beautiful" by Katherine Lee Bates and music by Samuel A. Ward. Jillian and Julia Knier, Addie and Mollie Schliewe, and Joel Vincent waved flags while riding in the float. Joshua Vincent and Mrs. Vincent performed the song as a duet on keyboard, and out in front, Jake Miller and Sammy Wallace carried our sign.

We are grateful for the sacrifice that our fellow countrymen have made and want to use patriotic music to show honor and respect in our community.

In making the float, students learned about the history and lyrics of "America the Beautiful."

History of America the Beautiful

Katherine Lee Bates was an English professor and poet in Massachusetts. She wrote the poem “America the Beautiful” when she was about 34 years old on a trip to Colorado. She took the trip to teach a summer course at Colorado College.

On her trip to Colorado in 1893, Katherine summited Pikes Peak.

The plaque commemorating her trip is at the top of Pike's Peak. Bates wrote, " We hired a prairie wagon. Near the top we had to leave the wagon and go the rest of the way on mules. I was very tired. But when I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse."

The view inspired her to write the poem, “America the Beautiful”.

Samuel A. Ward was an American organist and composer from New Jersey.

America the Beautiful was first printed in a weekly newspaper in 1895. Bates’s patriotic words were set to music after a lot of searching and debate. The most popular version was to Samuel A. Ward’s hymn “Materna” (1882), the tune to which we sing it today.

Ward had intended “Materna” as a setting for the hymn "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem.“

Unfortunately, Ward never got to hear his melody used for 'America, the Beautiful.' The words and melody were first joined in November of 1904, and Ward died on September 28, 1903. Ward and Bates never met. But the song America the Beautiful now continues on as one of America’s most beloved patriotic songs.

America the Beautiful

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 of 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 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

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea!

#MemorialDay #Parades #Patriotic

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