Sunday, September 11, 2005


Photo of painting Unspoken by Pomm
"Unspoken" © 2001 Pomm - click picture form more info

Katherine Lee Bates, a professor of English at Wellesley College in
Massachusetts, visited Pikes Peak in the summer of 1893. It was a hard
wagon drive through the heat and thin air to the top, but when she attained
it, the view provided an incredible feast for her New England eyes: the
russet and purple mountains and the golden green valleys below, and the arch
of the infinite sky above. "It was then and there," she said, "that the
opening line of a poem floated into my mind-'O Beautiful for spacious
skies...'!" Later she sketched out the remainder of the verse. When the
poem was published, more than 60 composers offered to set the words to
music. But Miss Bates chose a melody written for a hymn "Materna" in 1882 by Samuel
Augustus Ward. Ward's music and Professor Bates' lyrics are now happily
inseparable. Once, while being honored for her work by educators and
musicians, Miss Bates remarked: "It is not work to write a song; it is a
great joy."

In September 2002, one year after the terrible tradegy, as the clock moved past midnight and into Wednesday morning the 11th, I sat
down at the piano and played. This was recorded in one take and reflects my
personal feelings of mourning and the healing that this beautiful country is going through. Again, my heart reaches out to the victims of another terrible tragedy, Katrina.

Thank you, Ms Bates, for your wonderful words, and you, Mr.
Ward, for your music. But most of all, thank you God, for your creation.

Click to open music in a mini-window America the Beautiful "Materna" (as performed by W. Cushman).Mp3 (c) 2002 William Cushman (4:35 / 4.2Mb)

Note: Although the original melody is public domain and can be used commercial free, if you wish to commercially use my version, please let me know via email. Thank you. Email Me

To directly download to your computer click this icon:Click here to download a .zip file of this .Mp3 direcly to your computer


Here are some links to projects that people have made using this composition.. check them out!

If you have a project you'd like me to link.. just email me.
Want to use this piece in your project or website - royalty & commercial free at no cost?
Just ask.

Send me a quick email: Email


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