Sunday, July 4, 2010

Amber Waves

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!

America the Beautiful, the 1895 poem by Katherine Lee Bates set to music by Samuel Ward, has several more verses. (Read that first link if you want to know why the poem was originally entitled "Pike's Peak.")

For all its flowery drama, I think it's a beautiful song no matter how you sing it (and some ways are more interesting than others).

Happy Independence Day.


Shell Sherree said...

That's a gorgeous image to accompany that verse, Petrea. Happy Independence Day to you all there!

Greg Sweet said...

Eriogonum fasciculatum - California Buckwheat

Petrea said...

Thank you, Shell.

Greg--I love that about you. Do you know what that wheaty stuff in the background is?

Lori Lynn said...

Happy 4th Trea and John and Boz!

Great photo and title!
I used a song for my Independence Day post today too!

LL and Wilson

Greg Sweet said...

I don't know exactly what that is, but it's a non-native grass introduced by Europeans for grazing animals. Now it's pretty much the only grass you see in California.

ben wideman said...

Beautiful image, P. For all of its problems, I'm pretty happy I live in a country with people like you. Happy 4th.

Petrea said...

Lori, great minds think alike.

Looks like wheat, Greg, it has grain on its tops. I expect you to know everything!

Ben, that's a lovely thing to say. I take it you're going to stay a while, then. And here I was, thinking it was time to defect to Canada.

Bellis said...

That's a lovely photo to go with a beautiful song. I remember first hearing it at Disneyland in a circular room showing stunning panoramas of the landscape from sea to shining sea. (Have they still got it?) It was my first visit to the US in 1980, and I was very impressed.

Petrea said...

I don't think I've ever seen that panorama room, Bellis. Amy R would know if it's still there.

Steve Scauzillo said...

great juxtaposition of the photo with the song. It's interesting because few think of those colors as the Fourth of July.

Katie said...

Wonderful display of amber waves. And thanks for the link to all info about the poem and anthem; interesting stuff. Happy Fourth!

J+P said...

I finally figured out why 19th-century poets used all those exclamation marks: they were shouting because the telephone hadn't been invented.

(A hundred years from now, people will wonder why 20th-century poems had no hyperlinks.)

mark said...

Happy 4th of July to all. Freedom is never free of suffering and sacrifice. We are free because many have give the "full measure" as Lincoln adressed at Gettysburg. My "Thanks" to all who contributed big and small.

Amy said...

And I do really like that California has all of the quintessential pieces in that first verse.

Lovely photo.

Kim said...

So, so beautiful. I'd like to just sit and take it all in for a long time. So warm and peaceful.
Thanks to your reader Greg for identifying this, too.

Petrea said...

Thanks, everyone. Yep, this blog has some wonderful readers and commenters.

Dina said...

I read this here, far away, on the 4th of July and it brought me tears.
God bless America, and you too.

Petrea said...

Dina, I know Israel is home to you now. But do you ever miss America? Illinois? Chicago? I'm only in California and I miss Illinois sometimes.