“America! America! God shed his grace on thee,” A very patriotic quote from the third line of the first and fourth stanzas of “America the Beautiful.” This song is one of if not the most patriotic songs held by this great nation, but what is it that makes this nation so great?
The song starts off saying, “Oh, beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!” These words were not chosen in vain but rather chosen to show the beauty that was seen by the writer. It broadcasts how our ancestors saw this country, and why they came so quickly to a country they knew so little about.
The third stanza states, “Oh, beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife!” People in our country are willing to fight for us, our country, and our God given rights. It goes on to say, “Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!” This line shows their heartfelt devotion to a country that will, more often than not, never even know their names. These men and women are fighting for groups of people they don’t even know, yet are willing to give up their time, and possibly their lives fighting for our rights.
The fourth stanza is there to speak of our growth over the years and for the growth of years to come. “Oh, beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years” This line is testimony to the patriotic dream of growth for our nation. So much so that it is planned for years to come so that our nation will strive. It then goes on to state, “Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!” Once again another testimony to the absolute beauty of the country and that any amount of tears couldn’t protest it in any way.
Notably, the second stanza hasn’t been mentioned yet. That is because it is the only stanza that is about what this country needs instead of has. It starts off by saying “Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet, Whose stern, impassioned stress.” Loosely defined it is a statement to the fact that more people need to become stronger in their beliefs, much like the first pilgrims were. These brave men and women traveled across the sea to a land they had no preaccumulated knowledge of. They traveled in hopes that the stories they heard were true. As it goes on to state “A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness!” This phrasing is used as a term for longing for that freedom that we so solemnly need, and for it to spread throughout the nation. We are told we have all the freedom we will ever want. Yet, It appears to have escaped us, and has left us for a new area. These freedoms have been ripped from the hands of the grateful by those who could care less , which have no respect for the freedoms to which they are gifted.
“America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.” These are the last two lines mentioned in the second stanza. These lines pray for God himself to mend our every flaw, to which there are many. Flaws that could easily be mended through a sense of self control. Our sense of self control, or more commonly the lack thereof, is leading this country down roads it wishes it had never seen or heard of before. Through areas that stoop so low that some wouldn’t even consider what they thought as low, to be low anymore. And all we have to hope for is our liberty through the law.