This work was published before January 1, , and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least years ago. For works with similar titles, see America. Wikipedia article , Commons category , Wikidata item. Smith wrote the lyrics to an existing tune in , and it was first published in It was often used as a de-facto national anthem of the United States until the official adoption of " The Star-Spangled Banner " in Versions of My Country 'Tis of Thee include: Public domain Public domain false false.
Retrieved from " https: Smith was inspired by the song's connection between patriotism and faith and set out to write an American version, one with different lyrics but the same basic tune.
The first performance of the song was in July of by a children's choir in Boston. The popularity of ''My Country, 'Tis of Thee'' only grew from there, quickly becoming the unofficial national anthem of the United States. It would only narrowly lose the title of official anthem a century later, in a tight race that also included the song ''America the Beautiful''. So, what made this song so popular?
For one, it is undeniably catchy and fun to sing. However, the real meaning behind it can be seen through two intellectual and social movements of the mid-nineteenth century, both of which seem to have had profound influences on Samuel Francis Smith.
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", also known as "America", is an American patriotic song, whose lyrics were written by Samuel Francis Smith. The melody used is the . 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.
The first major movement to impact Smith was also the second of its kind. From roughly through , the United States experienced what we call the Second Great Awakening. This was a period of massive religious revival, during which Americans especially within Protestant denominations turned to highly individualistic expressions of faith. This was the time period that denominations like Methodists and Baptists entered the USA and grew quickly into prominence. Denominational universities sprung up across the nation, and people flocked to them in droves to hear speeches and sermons given by traveling preachers.
Smith, a Baptist seminary student, was at the heart of this movement. The Second Great Awakening placed an emphasis on individual spirituality and emotion, which we see translated into the highly individualistic nature of the song.
It's not until the fourth verse that the word ''we'' appears; up until then it's only ''of thee I sing'' and, ''Thy name I love,''. The other movement that seems to have impacted Samuel Francis Smith was Romanticism. Romanticism was an intellectual and artistic movement that focused on individual emotional and psychological experiences, as well as humanity's connection with nature.
In the United States, where access to undeveloped natural space was greater than in Europe, this concept of nature was especially important. As American Romanticism found expression in the landscape paintings of Thomas Cole and nature-focused writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Americans began to see their ability to connect with nature as something unique.
It was something that defined their experience. When Romanticism connected with the Second Great Awakening, the result was a fundamental belief in nature as a moral space, a place for people to reconnect with the essence of what made them, and their nation, good. That, above all else, is what resonates in Smith's patriotic song. Freedom rings from the mountainsides, freedom rings from the trees, and hearts thrill with rapture for love of rocks, rills, and templed hills.
The Baptist Hymnal How came it yours? God in Society National Life. Send us your Prayer Request Or call our prayer line at Want to learn more? While King was waiting to address a meeting of the Montgomery Improvement Association during the bus boycott, his home was bombed and his wife and infant daughter barely escaped injury.
What makes the United States unique, and where the center of American patriotic pride lies, is in the inherent ability of Americans to achieve a pure morality, embodied equally through both our concepts of liberty and our access to nature. How's that for a national anthem? Smith composed the lyrics after being inspired by a German Lutheran hymn, and set the melody to the tune of ''God Save the King''.
Smith's expression of patriotism in this song is unique, drawing inspiration from the religious revivalist movement known as the Second Great Awakening and the nature-obsessed intellectual movement called Romanticism. Both movements stressed individualism, morality, personal emotion, and salvation through nature, themes which deeply resonate throughout the song. For a century, ''My County, 'Tis of Thee'' was popular enough to rank as the unofficial national anthem of the United States.
Once we understand its history, it's not hard to see why. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study. Login here for access. Did you know… We have over college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1, colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page.
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Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? There are several patriotic songs that most Americans are familiar with. In this lesson, we'll talk about ''My Country, 'Tis of Thee,'' and see how major movements of the time impacted its development. History The story of this patriotic song dates back to the year , when a year-old Baptist seminary student named Samuel Francis Smith was attending the Andover Theological Seminary in Massachusetts.
Meaning So, what made this song so popular?