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Post"Crown Thy Good with Sisterhood"? (Henry Levin, USA, 03/03/21 3:40 am)
I always like Tor Guimaraes's insights, but I was put off by one word in "America the Beautiful" and his affirmation that "all words in the song are still truthful." I must dissent.
Our daughter Bianca graduated from Wellesley College some years ago (and later proceeded to U of Michigan Law School which made it possible for us to visit you in Ann Arbor). "America the Beautiful" was authored by a Wellesley English Professor in 1893. It was traditionally sung at Commencement. But, when they got to the phrase "Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood," the full graduating class (a female college) sang enthusiastically "Crown Thy Good With Sisterhood from Sea to Shining Sea." We, the parents, enthusiastically embraced the change of words.
JE comments: I never knew about Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), the author of the poem "America the Beautiful." She was also a noted speaker and social activist. Interestingly, the composer who wrote the iconic melody, New Jersey church organist Samuel A. Ward, never directly collaborated or even met.