Wednesday, October 11, 2006

America the Beautiful America the Beautiful

This last weekend, I found myself, as I have about once a year about this time for the last 25 years, watching a football game, under perfect blue skies, with Pikes Peak in the background. 90% of the time, Homecoming weekend is gorgeous at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Indeed, we joked with one friend in from Portland that this would likely be the last sun he saw for the next six months.

Which brings me to America The Beautiful. Growing up, I always felt that the song had some sort of mythical ties to Colorado, with the Purple Mountain Majesties towering over the Fruited Plains. It was only on the 100th anniversary of its composition, that I realized that Colorado really was at the center of it.

One hundred thirteen years ago, Katharine Lee Bates spent the summer teaching at Colorado College. She and a group of others took a wagon to the top of Pikes Peak for the 4th of July that year, and after returning to her room at CC, she wrote the original lyrics to the song.

So, no surprise that the song always felt like Colorado, and in particular Colorado Springs - that is where it was composed.

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