“America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)”

Author: Samuel Francis Smith
Earliest date: 1831 (first recorded performance, though Smith later thought he wrote it in 1832, when it was first published)
Keywords: patriotic America nonballad religious derivative
Found in: US

Description

A praise to the liberty and freedom offered in America. Throw in a brief description of the geography, a bit of praise for God, and a hint of ancestor worship, add the tune of "God Save the King," and you get America's other anthem

Notes

According to Spaeth (_A History of Popular Music in America_, p. 69), S. F. Smith discovered the tune of "Heil Dir in Siegerkranz" in a book lent to him by Lowell Mason, and dashed off his words not knowing that "God Save the King" was to the same tune. Mason would direct the first public performance.

Smith would late write, "If I had anticipated the future of it, doubtless I would have taken more pains with it." - RBW

Same tune

Cross references

References

  1. RJackson-19CPop, pp. 6-9, "America, My Country 'Tis of Thee" (1 text, 1 tune, from an 1861 edition)
  2. Fuld-WFM, pp. 249-251, "God Save the King" (includes notes on "America")
  3. Krythe 4, pp. 62-73, "America" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. DSB2, p. 53, "America" (1 text)
  5. DT, AMERTIS*
  6. BI, RJ19006