It was a rainy day on the Fourth of July where we live. Helen (adorable wife) and I had planned to attend a concert and a fireworks display being held in one of our downtown parks, and then share it with Easin’ Along readers. However, the threat of showers (and the lingering effects of a summer cold) kept yours truly holed up indoors. This wasn’t the most glimmering illustration of an active retirement lifestyle, but I had to take a rain check and sit this one out.
Television was filled with Fourth of July celebrations, including the one we had planned to visit, and each of one of them featured orchestras and bands belting out lively patriotic tunes. There is nothing like patriotic music to get me fired up…almost to the point of curing my cold. If John Phillip Sousa has not yet been granted sainthood, surely he is on the list. Every time piccolos are played in the Sousa marching tune, Stars and Stripes Forever, I get chills, and I’ll wager that others do also.
There were some hymns being played during these celebrations as well. I love hearing The Battle Hymn of the Republic, especially when it is sung slowly in parts and builds to a resounding finish. The hymn America, which we sang in church last Sunday, is also a favorite, and who has not shed a tear when listening to America the Beautiful beautifully sung. I’ll admit to being caught up in the lyrics many times.
Listening to those hymns on America’s birthday serves as a warm reminder of how fortunate we are to live in such wonderful country and one that is richly blessed with staggering beauty. Each line in the hymns America and America the Beautiful brought back memories of some of the places we have visited on our Easin’ Along travels. Therefore, since I was homebound and could not share our local festival with readers, I thought I would post a few pictures from those trips to illustrate the lyrics of those two hymns.
Here goes…I hope you enjoy them. Be grateful that I didn’t sing them for you, but you’re encouraged to sing along as you scroll.
America – Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith, 1831
America the Beautiful – Lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates, 1893
Happy 241st Birthday America! We’re still filled with pride, we’re still strong, and we’re still Easin’ Along!