God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
Kate Smith was the first to sing this beautiful song with reverence to our nation, with her strong voice, she sang it with determination and conviction.
It was originally written for encouraging strength and unity in people downtrodden by war and hatred.
In 1938, Kate was looking for something fresh to mark the 20th anniversary of the end of the Great War (World War I).
Irving Berlin (aka Israel Baline), a renowned songwriter, wanted to write a song that celebrated America as a special place to live.
In 1918 he had written a diddy,
God Bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
To the right with the light from above
Make her victorious on land and foam
God Bless America, my home sweet home.
But the song was too political, it needed to celebrate the nation as a whole; so, Irving rewrote some of it exclusively for Kate to sing in celebration of the ending of WWI. She introduced the song on Armistice Day, 1938 (aka Veterans Day), and it was an instant hit.
Then, just a few years later, America became involved in another war, WWII. The song led American troops to victory over yet another dictator whose only reason for being was to divide and conquer those not willing to submit to him.
Now, nearly 100 years later, our nation once again faces the threat of losing its freedoms and this song still rings out strong. The song incites hope, peace, encouragement, and dedication to this land, its people, and its freedoms.