Katharine Lee Bates, professor at Wellesley College wrote the words to this song as a poem inspired by a trip she took to Colorado. Samuel A. Ward, a church organist, later adapted the text to a tune he had previously composed. The music and the words together were first published in 1910.
America the Beautiful has been considered for replacing the U.S. national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, on more than one occasion, but the various attempts have failed. Many U.S. citizens prefer America the Beautiful over The Star Spangled Banner because it evokes images of the beauty of the land instead of the glories of war, which seem to some to be more appropriate for the celebration of a nation.
Learn how to play America the Beautiful with this simple arrangement for viola and piano.