Click image to play recording. 

New rendition by Chris Van Cleave

1st verse - original lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Alternative 3 verses - lyrics by Chris Van Cleave

A beautiful uplifting duet between Chris and Lea
- full recording on his ITS UP TO YOU album
Lyrics below

Song production team



The vision for this recording was to bring life to the new lyrics by highlighting concepts
of inclusiveness, rather than division with regard to race, creed, or gender.

America, as we all know, was built upon ideals of freedom, not only including religious and political freedom, but freedom of speech and the consideration that all men are created equal;
with the freedom to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Within the lyrics is also the realization and acknowledgement that the original Americans,
long before our founding fathers, lived with a deep reverence and respect for all life and
the abundant gifts that this great country offered.

My hope is that this beloved song, along with the new lyrics, will continue to inspire and empower the people in America to never lose faith in themselves, or the principles upon which this great country was built - and that we may all serve in our own unique ways
to make this country and world a better one to live in.

Chris Van Cleave (2000)

  Katharine Lee Bates photo


*O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain;
for purple mountains 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 when we awake
to live the dream of love;
where all of life's in harmony,
at one with heaven above!
America! America! May history serve us well
through those who gave their lives to save
and ring our Freedom Bell.

**O beautiful when we can see
the treasure of your soul;
where every human race and creed
achieves God's loving goal!
America! America! Let shine your glorious heart
from every woman, man, and child
who see how great thou art!

**O beautiful to know the truth
of those born here before;
who knew this country's gracious gift
was valued even more!
America! America! Let all who walk thee know
the blessedness, the preciousness
of life born here to show!

(repeat *Katharine Lee Bates' original first verse)

**next three verses © 2000 Chris Van Cleave