Written in 1893 by Katherine Lee Bates the beautiful and moving lyrics of this classic American song were inspired by a trip to Pikes Peak, Colorado. They weren’t set to the tune we know today (Materna—a tune written more than a decade earlier). In fact, for a few years, they were sung to almost any folk tune that would fit the lyrics. The most popular was the traditional New Years celebratory tune, Auld Lang Syne.
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!