Land of the Free
In 2017 our nation cried out for timely new words that would renew and refocus us on our shared American values. On Independence Day I was inspired to write these words:
LAND OF THE FREE
Land of the free whose shores are open wide
To those who share our nation's dream with pride,
So stir us with the thoughts true patriots give,
That we preserve the way in which we live.
With high respect for people though diverse
Our strength resounds throughout the universe
May we together find a common cause
And then, together, work to mend the flaws.
Thus under God we go about our days
With inspiration fresh in myriad ways.
Enlighten all to share creative joy,
In greater wisdom, this insight employ.
As what happens in moments of creative flow, and to my delight, the verses seemed to perfectly fit the standard hymnal tune known to organists as “national hymn” (as opposed to our National Anthem), and known to most church-goers as the familiar “God of Our Fathers” (tune by George William Warren (1828-1902)). With the patriotic lyrics, the trumpet fanfare at the beginning of each stanza is a call to national unity. I felt strongly that these words had a place at the center of our National dialogue, and soon received a reply from Senator Susan Collins of Maine that she had forwarded the hymn to the office of the Senate Chaplain with the suggestion to use it for a future event.
The “World Premier” was recorded at St. David's Episcopal Church in Kennebunk, Maine. The video of the congregational hymn sing can be found here:
I took the initiative to copyright the lyrics with the U.S. Copyright Office, but I would love to have the hymn spread far and wide. If you or your organization would like to use the lyrics please click HERE to obtain a copyright release.