"My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing": Autograph Transcription of classic American anthem My Country 'Tis of Thee; Hand-written and signed by lyricist Samuel Francis Smith
Autograph Transcription Signed of My Country ‘Tis of Thee.
Smith, Samuel Francis.$6,800.00
Item Number: 82414
Autograph transcription of the first four stanzas of the American patriotic song My Country ‘Tis of Thee, which served as one of the de facto national anthems of the United States before the official adoption of The Star Spangled Banner in 1931. Transcribed and signed by lyricist Samuel Francis Smith all in his hand, “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! My native country, thee, Land of the noble free, Thy name I love; I love thy rocks and rills, Thy woods and templed hills; My heart with rapture thrills, Like that above. Let music swell the breeze, And ring from all the trees Sweet freedom’s song; Let mortal tongues awake; Let all that breathe partake; Let rocks their silence break, The sound prolong. Our fathers’ God to Thee, Author of liberty, To Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright, With freedom’s holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King. Samuel Francis Smith.” Double matted and framed with a portrait engraving of Smith. The entire piece measures 18.5 inches by 18 inches. In near fine condition. A unique piece of American history.
American Baptist minister Samuel Francis Smith wrote the lyrics to My Country 'Tis of Thee in 1831 as a student at Andover Theological Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts at the request of personal friend and composer, Lowell Mason, who would later become a leading figure in American church music. Mason asked Smith to translate the lyrics to a selection of German school songbooks; a melody in Muzio Clementi's Symphony No. 3 caught Smith's attention and rather than translate the lyrics he set his own lyrics to the melody, a feat he completed in less than thirty minutes. The song was first performed at a children's Independence Day celebration at Park Street Church in Boston on July 4th, 1831 and first published under the title "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" in 1832.
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