While teaching my daughter history, I was struck by the beauty and patriotism of our great American writers. Most of them wrote these songs as poems and they were later set to music. So here are the poems:
Yankee Doodle is the first one. It was written by an Englishman who was making fun of American colonists untrained in war or marching. He wrote as a joke and taught it to Americans for them to learn to march in time. Later, Americans defeated the English in the Revolutionary War to become free and independent and kept singing the song to prove that we may be ridiculous but we beat you. I never knew that. Here it is:
Fath’r and I went down to camp, along with Captain Good’in, and there we saw the men and boys as thick as hasty puddin’. Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle dandy, mind the music and the step and with the girls be handy.
And there we see a thousand men, as rich as Squire David; and what they wasted ev’ry day, I wish it could be saved. Yankee Doodle keep it up, Yankee Doodle dandy, mind the music and the step, and with the girls be handy.
The Star-Spangled Banner
O say, can you see by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stipend and bright stars Thru the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, we’re so gallantly streaming? And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thru the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
The flag in particular Francis Scott Key wrote about, that flew over Fort McHenry, can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. It was 32 feet long and 27 feet wide, replete with 11 gun holes.
My country, ’tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died! Land of the Pilgrim’s pride! From ev’ry mountain side, Let freedom ring!
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!
America the Beautiful
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majestic Above the fruited plain. America! America! God she’d his grace on thee, And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.
God Bless America
God bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her Through the night with the light from above. From the mountains to the valleys, to the oceans, white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home. God bless America, my home sweet home.