Only Good Friday

My Country ‘Tis Of Thee – “Only The Good” Friday

“My Country ‘Tis Of Thee,”  was taught to my second grade class by my teacher, Miss Hyatt.  It’s one of my favorite patriotic songs. The words,  “From Every Mountain Side…Let Freedom Ring,” went straight to my heart.  Since a grand view of the rocky mountains could be seen from our class room window… I was sure the song has been written especially for us.

Follow the words and listen to the tune here.

In 1831, Reverend Samuel Francis Smith was approached by the famed organist and composer, Lowell Mason, who had with him some German school music books. Mason wanted Smith to either translate the German, or write new text for the tunes.  Smith particularly like one tune and rather than translate the German, he wrote new lyrics for it…. “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee.”


In 1938, Marian Anderson, a famous African American contralto, was refused permission to sing in Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.   Their refusal placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level usually only found by high profile celebrities and politicians.

She never openly complained… and on Easter Sunday, 1939, “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” was brought to the forefront when Marian Anderson sang it at an open-air concert, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.   A crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions heard her performance.

You can see her preformance here,

And… who could forget Aurtha Frankin’s rendition, 70 years later, at the last inauguration.   Wow… Love the hat.

On July 4th, we will be celebrating the two hundred thirty-third birthday of signing of the Declaration of Independence.   And, on this “Good” Friday,  I’m grateful and proud to be an American as was Marion Anderson and Aretha Franklin.  I carry a pocket size copy of the Constitution Of The United States, which is read frequently.  I have a lot to be thankful for and defend in these uncertain times.   “My Country “Tis Of Thee… Sweet Land Of Liberty… I Thee I Sing.”

Have a “Good” Friday” and a  great 4th of July.

Insightful Nana

P.S. Shelly, our host invites you to click on over and she what she has to say.   At the bottom of Shelly’s post, is a group of folks who have joined the “OtGF” movement. You’re welcome to have your name added to the list.  Just let Shelly know. My sis, Sheila, welcomes you to her site also.

As I See It

A Little 4th Of July Trivia

We all know the history of the 4th of July centers around the Declaration Of Independence from the England, the motherland. But…here’s an interesting little story I’d like to share with you on this great day of celebration! So sit back… and enjoy!

Benjamin Franklin was the first to be asked by the Continental Congress to draft a declaration that would sever ties with England … but because of illness, he could not. John Adams was asked to draft the document but argued that Thomas Jefferson had greater writing skills. So the responsibility rested on the shoulders of Jefferson.

Since Jefferson was not a speaker, John Adams presented the draft to the Congress on July 2, 1776. On July 4th, after revisions had been made, 56 signers added their names to the bottom of The Declaration Of Independence… which ultimately lead to the birth of this great Nation.

It may have been the last time Adams and Jefferson agreed on anything. They stood strongly opposite each other on political issues and argued through letters and debates.

After George Washington, they both ran for the office of the President Of The United States… and Adams won by a narrow margin. Jefferson became the Vice President, but choose not to support Adams…so he stayed at his home in Virginia and Adams toughed it out alone. After his first term, Adams was not re-elected and Jefferson was victorious. Adams went home dejected.

The war of ideas, between the two men, went on well into their old age. A friend finally convinced the two to patch things up… and in the last years of their lives, they wrote to each other.

John Adams was 7 years older than Jefferson. However, he was determined to out live the younger man. “I will out live Jefferson,” he declared.

On the 50th anniversary of the Day Of Independence, Thomas Jefferson died about mid morning. A messenger was dispatched from Virginia to the Adams home in Massachusetts, bearing the bad news.

Later that evening, a messenger was sent from the Adams home to Virginia, to relay the message that John Adams had died in the late afternoon. The messengers crossed paths along the way.

Adams’ final words were, “Thomas Jefferson survives.” Little did he know, he out lived his enemy and friend.

So… on the 4th of July, 1826, both architects of a new Nation, Adams and Jefferson, died within a few hours of each other.

Just though you might like to know.

Till Later,

Kathy Griffiths
Insightful Nana

P.S. By the way….James Monroe, our Nation’s 5th President died on July 4, 1831.