History & Spirit In Song – “My Country Tis Of Thee, Sweet Land Of Liberty” – 1831

MY COUNTRY TIS OF THEE –Samuel Francis Smith, 1831

Although we know that Reverend Samuel Francis Smith wrote the words to “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” (also known as “America”), the origin of the song’s melody remains a mystery. And the history of its verses is even more complex.
Read more at the Library of Congress >>
The America of Samuel F. Smith

My Country 'Tis of Thee. ca 1861. Music Division, Library of Congress

“Samuel Francis Smith was a friend and classmate of Oliver Wendell Holmes at Harvard University. Smith went on to attend Andover Theological Seminary, and after entering the Baptist ministry in 1832, subsequently assumed numerous ministry, professorial, and editorial posts. For their 1829 class reunion, Holmes wrote of his good friend:

“There’s a nice youngster of excellent pith,
Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;
But he shouted a song for the brave and the free,
Just read on his medal, “My country,” “of thee.”

Holmes was here referring to the song, penned by Samuel Smith, which has survived the ages as “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” “ Read more.

See other songs of America’s heritage >>


My country, ’tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountain side.

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.

Our glorious Land to-day,
‘Neath Education’s sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation’s pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven’s gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!

See other songs of America’s heritage >>


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