4th of July Happening


by John Walters


My country, ’tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing;

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims’ pride,

From ev’ry mountainside,

Let freedom ring!

Written in 1831 by 23 year-old Samuel Francis Smith in Andover, Mass. It borrows from England’s “God Save The Queen” by employing the same melody and only the lyrics are new, which is sort of apt for an American anthem, no?

The house Smith, already a Harvard alum at the time, is now a dormitory at the famed Phillips Academy. The tune was first performed in public at a children’s July 4th celebration in 1831.

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