This Week’s Musical Selection from Heidi Dybing

Once again, an interesting history to this beautiful patriotic song.  The lyrics were written by Katharine Bates and the melody by Samuel Ward.  The two never met.
In 1893, Bates, an English professor at Wellesley College, was on a train trip to Colorado Springs to teach summer school.  She was inspired by so many sights along the way. (An aside…verse 3, alabaster cities refers to the “White City” at the World’s Exhibition in Chicago.  Erik Larson wrote an excellent novel called “The Devil in the White City”.  I highly recommend it!)
The composer, Ward, was on a ferry boat trip to Coney Island on a perfect summer day and was inspired to write the music.  In 1910 the lyrics and melody were united to become America the Beautiful.
P.s.  I wish this song was our national anthem!

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