O Beautiful for Spacious Skies Hymn Composer: Katharine Lee Bates, 1859-

The History of O Beautiful for Spacious Skies Hymn

Miss KATHARINE LEE BATES, professor of English Literature in Wellesley College, is the author of this hymn. She wrote it in 1893 while on a Western tour that brought her first to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The patriotic impressions made upon her mind by the wonderful White City she bore westward with her as she journeyed to Colorado; and when at last she stood on the summit of Pike’s Peak and beheld the far-spreading panorama below and the spacious skies above, her soul was stirred by the thought of the

Katharine Lee Bates

greatness and the God-given destiny of America. These lines were set ringing in her heart, and into a noble poem she has woven the beauties of that mountain-top vision:

O beautiful for spacious skies, 
For amber waves of grain, 
For purple mountain majesties 
Above the fruited plain!
Each verse is crowned with a prayer that to the physical beauty of her native land God may add the highest moral beauty:
America ! America ! 
God shed His grace on thee, 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 
From sea to shining sea ! 
Horatio Parker, one of the greatest of contemporary American composers, wrote the music, “America the Beautiful,” to which this hymn is set; though it is frequently sung, and most effectively, to the tune “Materna”
Below are more posts on hymns and their lyrics:

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O Beautiful for Spacious Skies Lyrics

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain;
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea.
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self control,
Thy liberty in law.

O Beautiful for Spacious Skies YouTube video

For more lyrics and stories of old hymns visit here.

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