America - My Country, 'Tis of Thee

by


America, popularly known as My Country, 'Tis of Thee was written by Smith, Lowell Mason arranged and performed it in public for the first time in Boston on July 4, 1831, at a children's Independence Day celebration. It was first published in The Choir in 1832. The melody is from Muzio Clementi's Symphony No. 3, the same as the United Kingdom's national anthem, God Save the Queen. America was the de facto national anthem of the United States until The Star-Spangled Banner was adopted in 1931.
An illustration for the story America - My Country, 'Tis of Thee by the author Samuel Francis Smith
G.H. Whittemore, America, our national hymn, 1884
An illustration for the story America - My Country, 'Tis of Thee by the author Samuel Francis Smith
G.H. Whittemore, America, our national hymn, 1884
An illustration for the story America - My Country, 'Tis of Thee by the author Samuel Francis Smith
1

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!

2

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.

3

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.

4

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:

5

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:

6

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.

7

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:

8

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!

9

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.

10

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.

11

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.

12

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.

13

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.

Featured in our collection of American Patriotic Songs. Martin Luther King, Jr. recited the first verse towards the end of his legendary I Have a Dream speech in 1963.

We have included verses 8 - 13, written by abolitionist A.G. Duncan in 1843. Visit our African American Library for more abolitionist literature.


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