America the Beautiful

by Rick Paul

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about

"America the Beautiful" has long been one of my favorite patriotic songs, especially in Ray Charles' soulful renditions of the song. I've performed the song occasionally on the live front, and I'd been considering recording it at some point. When an opportunity seeking a replacment for a specific live performance of the song by Charles, but sticking closer to the traditional melody and arrangement, arose in early 2021, I thought I'd give it a shot. This recording is the result.

As soon as I decided to put this recording out as a single, I knew which photo I wanted to use on the cover. The history of the song mentions Katharine Lee Bates' being inspired, in part, by the view of the majestic view of the Great Plains from on top of Pike's Peak outside Colorado Springs. During a 1995 road trip, I drove up to the top of Pike's Peak with my family. While it was too cloudy to get a useful view up on the top, I managed to get a photo of a pretty spectacular view on the way down. It has always been one of my favorite landscape photos, and it's reminded me of the song due to the historical association of the lyric with Pike's Peak.

lyrics

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
words by Katharine Lee Bates
music by Samuel A. Ward

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 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!

credits

released May 28, 2021
Performed, produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Rick Paul. Cover artwork by Rick Paul.

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about

Rick Paul Laguna Hills, California

Rick Paul's songs combine memorable pop/rock and country melodies with mature, often thought provoking, lyrics on life and love. His singing has drawn comparisons to Dan Hill, Randy Newman, and Neil Young, while his piano playing is most frequently compared to Rick’s biggest musical influence, Elton John. Rick performs frequently in Orange County, California. ... more

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