In honor of the 4th of July holiday approaching swiftly I am sharing a song that we often sang in church around this time. My Country Tis of Thee
Samuel Francis Smith authored this song in 1831. Smith was born in Boston and attended the Bostin Latin School and then Harvard and Andover Seminary. Smith was fascinated by a man named Judson who was America's first missionary. During his first year at seminary he was saught out by Lowell Mason a hymn publisher. Mason needed Smith to help him translate some German hymns and songs While working on the music he became interested in a song that was set to "God Save The Queen" and included the words "Gott segne Sachsenland" which means "God Bless our Saxon Land" Smith used this information and adapted it to create a new hymn 'America' America was first performed by a juvenile choir at a sunday school rally on July 4, 1831. Samuel Francis Smith would grow into a powerful Baptist preacher, pastor, college professor, hymnist, linguist, writer and missionary advocate. Smith would rejoice when his son would become a missionary to Rangoon. Smith lived a good life and remained active into old age. He passed in his late 80s while traveling to a preaching appointment.