Performed by Jimmy Joe Lee
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Lyrics by Kathy Lee Bates with additional lyrics by Jimmy Joe Lee
"I was asked to perform a patriotic song for the opening of a small business
conference in Lake Tahoe. As a songwriter, I sing only to
demonstrate my songs, and rarely do
any public singing.
Therefore, my first response was to decline the invitation. I
asked myself “If I were to accept, what patriotic song I would
sing. It would be just me and my guitar so any I did would be
one instrument away from performing acapella.
I landed on “America the Beautiful”. Being familiar with only the 1st verse, which is classic, I looked up the others and saw that while the sentiments were excellent, the use of language in 1893, the year the poem was written, is far different than today. The end result was my writing 3 new verses and 2 new choruses. It took but about 20 minutes. It seemed to write itself. It was like a gift."
Jimmy Joe Lee
Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain For purple mountains majesties above the fruited plain America America God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea
So many brave so many gave to keep you safe and free There is no way we can repay their gift of liberty America America behold your future bright Of sons and daughters ever free residing in your light
Your soft green hills your valleys wide your endless sparkling
streams The bounty of your fertile soil on which we build our dreams America America the land where freedom rings Though near or far our guiding star in praise of thee we sing
The symbol of our founding pride it waves red white and blue Reminding us of glories past and all we've yet to do America America God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea
"I wanted to write songs for as far back as I can remember.
No one in my family was musical so I can't explain why. I've been
involved in the business of music for some time starting about age 19. I
worked record promotion in Hollywood; worked as A&R director and
producer for a small label. Subsequently, I started my own record and
publishing company. In the process I produced several recordings that
“charted” nationally, two of which achieved gold record status, one of
which I wrote. As a writer and publisher that song has earned the BMI
award of officially logging over one million radio performances."