You see, they were a big part of my childhood traveling days, before portable dvd players became necessities, when families learned relationship skills by having to get along for several more miles of the ABC billboard game or another round of The Minister’s Cat. My family traveled a lot.
While in the car, my mom taught us every patriotic song out there, and we belted them out from sea to shining sea. And she knew the stories behind them also. I’ll never forget our trip to the top of Pike’s Peak, how she told of Katharine Lee Bates, and how a wagon ride to the summit of this mountain stirred her to write the lyrics to the hymn, “America the Beautiful”.
So on our recent trip to the Black Hills we sang. We sang “God Bless The U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood, “Grand Old Flag”, “This Land is Your Land”, “The National Anthem”, “My Country Tis Of Thee”…my eyes are watering just remembering. They’re not just songs, they’re the spoken melody of those moments when we’re so inspired we can’t speak, such as that moment between dusk and dark when Mount Rushmore is illuminated to those that have lingered for the final ceremonies.
As we sang, certain songs brought back memories…for three years my older daughters and their cousin have sung the National Anthem to open the local youth rodeo. My oldest won alternate top blue for singing “This Land is Your Land” at 4H Club Days. We’ll never forget hearing Acappella sing live, and their rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A.”
With July 4th right around the corner, why not start teaching your children the great tunes of our nation?
The family car, surrounded by this great country and God’s creation, is a pretty good place to start!
…and I’m off to insert these lyrics into our scrapbook…