Who wrote the patriotic song 'My country, 'tis of thee'?

American Baptist minister Samuel Francis Smith wrote the American patriotic song 'My country, 'tis of thee' in 1831, when he was a student at the Andover Theological Seminary.


It is often sung to the same melody as the British national anthem God Save The King

My country, 'tis of thee' often served as the de facto national anthem of the United States before the 'The Star-Spangled Banner' was officially recognised in 1931

Did you know Martin Luther King Jr. recited the first verse of the song toward the end of his famous "I Have a Dream" speech?

'My country, 'tis of thee' lyrics

My country, 'tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing:
land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrims' pride,
from every mountainside
let freedom ring!

2 My native country, thee,
land of the noble free,
thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
thy woods and templed hills;
my heart with rapture thrills
like that above.

3 Let music swell the breeze,
and ring from all the trees
sweet freedom's song:
let mortal tongues awake,
let all that breathe partake;
let rocks their silence break,
the sound prolong.


Main image: Aretha Franklin sings "My Country 'Tis Of Thee'" at the U.S. Capitol during the 56th presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009.© Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons