Video: Hillsdale College choir sings America the Beautiful

posted at 5:31 pm on July 3, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Consider this the palate cleanser of all palate cleansers after a week in which millions confused government diktats for liberty. Our friends at Hillsdale College offer this stirring and lovely version of America the Beautiful from the Hillsdale College Choir, in an inspirational video released this week. The song, first written as a poem 102 years ago, often comes up as a possible replacement for the Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem, and occasionally gets sung in its place at public events. The poem/lyrics present America as an aspirational nation, one striving to be, as Ronald Reagan put it, the “city on the hill” as we march toward the perfection of liberty and goodness.

This week, the march seems a little longer, but we struggle onward — perhaps with this ringing in our ears:

This particular verse seems relevant at the moment:

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

Our body politic lacks plenty of self-control these days on all sides, but the last line is key. The only way to confirm liberty is to rely on the rule of law, not the rule of whim. When courts take it upon themselves to redefine the constitution based on the prevailing cultural whims rather than have legislatures address the law to conform to democratic self-government, we have begun marching down the latter road toward autocracy. When government officials levy ruinous fines over wedding cakes based on their own personal vindictiveness, we are walking back toward the “swarms of Officers [sent] to harass our people, and eat out their substance” noted in the Declaration of Independence. Our recourse is in the rule of law created by a self-governing free people, even though that does seem at times to be a nearly impossible goal.

That does not mean our best days are behind us. It just means that our hard work remains, as it always has, ahead of us. In the meantime, we’ll fly the banner of the free and remember why we sought independence from far-flung autocrats in the first place.

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Comments

…not even close to being able to cleanse the palate after this week…but thanks…

Pelosi Schmelosi on July 3, 2015 at 5:38 PM

That does not mean our best days are behind us.

Not without a LOT of effort.

Oh, and expect this anthem to be revoked by the next Democratic Congress as offensive to Obamaland.

Skywise on July 3, 2015 at 5:49 PM

Great school – one of my cousins just graduated from Hillsdale, and is going to Harvard Law in the fall.

Ward Cleaver on July 3, 2015 at 5:51 PM

often comes up as a possible replacement for the Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem,

Left to get outraged over America the Beautiful in 3, 2, 1 for lyrics that honor European conquest of peace loving natives.

rbj on July 3, 2015 at 5:51 PM

Thanks Ed! Miss Lamar and I really enjoyed that!

Happy Independence Day To All At HA!

Bmore on July 3, 2015 at 5:51 PM

That does not mean our best days are behind us. It just means that our hard work remains, as it always has, ahead of us.

…the Republic ended this week…it’s over…

Pelosi Schmelosi on July 3, 2015 at 5:54 PM

That does not mean our best days are behind us

I’m not sure if I believe that but then how exactly would we know when we’ve crossed that line?

HotAirian on July 3, 2015 at 6:01 PM

The only way to confirm liberty is to rely on the rule of law, not the rule of whim.

But that law must be rooted and grounded in a commonly shared sense of virtue and a knowledge of the good.

That is gone. Without it, law becomes tyranny.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Would have been better with Saturn V rockets

DarkCurrent on July 3, 2015 at 6:08 PM

Our body politic lacks plenty of self-control these days on all sides, but the last line is key. The only way to confirm liberty is to rely on the rule of law, not the rule of whim. When courts take it upon themselves to redefine the constitution based on the prevailing cultural whims rather than have legislatures address the law to conform to democratic self-government, we have begun marching down the latter road toward autocracy

Amen, Ed!

The video was excellent, and your point is apposite.

Stoic Patriot on July 3, 2015 at 6:09 PM

Thanks Ed. I never tire of seeing my brother Marines.

celtic warrior on July 3, 2015 at 6:11 PM

….thumbs up!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 3, 2015 at 6:12 PM

It is racist and non inclusive to not sing it in “Mexican” too.

ps
aka “Spanglish”.

Not that the Mexican’s and the $100.00 per Apache scalp has anything to do with my attitude, cause you know things that happened long ago are important like that mean old battle flag of Northern Virginia….

So, its all OK per the MSM and the loon liberals…..for me to hold my 1/2 breed grudge….

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 3, 2015 at 6:13 PM

Well said, Mr. Morrissey. Thank you and have a wonderful fourth with your own tribe this weekend.

Recon5 on July 3, 2015 at 6:17 PM

When they come at you lawlessly, back at them in ways that make the way they come impassable.

These things who tell U S they represent U S are blind to the rule of law.

They buy into this fight thinking they have the upper hand and are the referee at the same moment in time, yet they in fact will fight it out by the way we ,,,those who have the winning souls need and will fight.

Very much soulless these others bathing in our gold in D.C..

The fights they claim to win are fought by U S.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 3, 2015 at 6:22 PM

Lesser known facts about Independence Day

http://www.theflume.com/free_content/article_894ffe88-21c9-11e5-8f58-83d64fed8af2.html

Walter L. Newton on July 3, 2015 at 6:23 PM

Walter L. Newton on July 3, 2015 at 6:23 PM

73 degrees at 9PM? Pretty cool for July in Philadelphia.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:29 PM

73 degrees at 9PM? Pretty cool for July in Philadelphia.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:29 PM

I thought so too when I wrote the article. But I confirmed the fact in a number of different places. I know Philly, Philly is hot in the summer. That was much cooler then I would have expected.

Walter L. Newton on July 3, 2015 at 6:32 PM

Nice addition to kick off the Independence Day weekend!

Got a few hours this weekend to kick back, so I’ve been plundering through archive.org to find a book to read. I’m thinking about a book titled “History of the United States“. (Well, what else would I read this weekend, eh?)

It was published in 1860. The book starts with Pelham’s administration in 1748!!

I like reading these old books. They haven’t been revised by the left!

lineholder on July 3, 2015 at 6:37 PM

How long before this song is banned because it mentions God, and therefore offends those who don’t believe? Sing it while you can, folks.

ldenton1 on July 3, 2015 at 6:39 PM

“Till selfish gain no longer stain
the banner of the free” @ 3:45 mark.

Isn’t that the problem, always.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:41 PM

lineholder on July 3, 2015 at 6:37 PM

I’m re-reading The Closing of The American Mind by Allan Bloom. Highly recommended.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:44 PM

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 6:44 PM

Thanks for the referral!!!

lineholder on July 3, 2015 at 6:49 PM

Confirm thy soul in self-control

I don’t think there is a line in this verse that better explains why America is no more.

I cried while watching the video. Not because of it’s power and beauty, but instead a tear for what was once the greatest nation this earth ever knew.

I pray that at some point in time God gives us another chance.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM

Thanks, Ed. I needed that.

BetseyRoss on July 3, 2015 at 7:11 PM

I cried while watching the video. Not because of it’s power and beauty, but instead a tear for what was once the greatest nation this earth ever knew.

I pray that at some point in time God gives us another chance.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM

I cried too.
We need a miracle.

redridinghood on July 3, 2015 at 7:12 PM

I don’t think there is a line in this verse that better explains why America is no more.

I cried while watching the video. Not because of it’s power and beauty, but instead a tear for what was once the greatest nation this earth ever knew.

I pray that at some point in time God gives us another chance.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM

NOBO, you know that we love you. This video is inspiring and is long overdue. This video gives me a feeling of pride, strenth, integrity and fortitude.

Even though the MSM may be wish casting, the menace of the World will be out of office in 16 months. America will last much longer than a bum on a street corner getting beat up by the Tamale cart lady *who is currently sucking up every mile she can to promote programs that exclude Blacks, but whatevah.

Head Up. Chin Up. and ‘other things Up.

Key West Reader on July 3, 2015 at 7:28 PM

And this is what the left holds in disdain and contempt. God should shed something on these reprobates and it certainly isn’t grace.

Dan_NV on July 3, 2015 at 7:37 PM

How do we push back against the sin while loving the sinners? Easy on an individual basis but an tough on a national scale.

Cindy Munford on July 3, 2015 at 7:57 PM

Recently I’ve been hearing a lot of conservatives saying things like, “It’s over. The left has won. This is no longer America. I’m not even going to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.” I confess this disturbs me. I expect feminists to squeal like hysterical little girls. I expect Social Justice Warriors to act like small boys who pretend to be heroes against imaginary enemies then run away from actual danger.

I expect conservatives to act like men and women — men and women who understand they are part of a fight for liberty that began when Moses killed the Egyptian slavedriver and will not end until Jesus comes again.

Open your eyes. The hills are filled with chariots of fire. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

From Klavan’s article.

Wethal on July 3, 2015 at 8:09 PM

This week, the march seems a little longer, but we struggle onward — perhaps with this ringing in our ears

Thanks, Ed. That helps.

petefrt on July 3, 2015 at 8:23 PM

That was awesome, thanks for sharing. Happy Independence Day!

scalleywag on July 3, 2015 at 8:30 PM

I pray that at some point in time God gives us another chance.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 6:50 PM

“Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them,
for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.”

Isaiah 3:10

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 9:31 PM

That does not mean our best days are behind us

Nationally speaking our generation’s best days are behind us.

On the other hand between ISIS demolishing historical structures and liberals destroying historic symbols and customs in a few generations nothing will be behind us.

tej on July 3, 2015 at 9:32 PM

Key West Reader on July 3, 2015 at 7:28 PM

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 9:31 PM

KWR and Cleombrotus, thanks for that. I know that we will be on the road to recovery when we are rid of the reprobate currently occupying the White House. It’s just that our society is so screwed up that a full recovery will be nothing short of a miracle.

I am not the type of person who holds grudges, nor have I ever truly hated another living human being. But I hate, with a passion, the Presidential Imposter we are currently saddled with. He has done more to destroy America than any other person in history.

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 9:43 PM

NOMOBO on July 3, 2015 at 9:43 PM

Well, keep in mind that, like a church that ordains a homosexual, that didn’t happen overnight and the problem is less the individual than the process that gave rise to his elevation.

It’s a sick country without a moral compass. That’s the problem. They say everything is political? I say everything is moral.

Cleombrotus on July 3, 2015 at 9:51 PM

It would be wonderful if the Republican party would quit electing and nominating politicians who claim to be fiscal conservatives and social moderates. Go back and check the voting record of any of these traitors, and you’ll find that they have sided with the Left on virtually all issues, whether social or economic. Many are included in the crowd we so celebrated a year ago, believing it a surge back to the right and national sanity.

A “social moderate” cannot, will not, ever be a fiscal or any other form of conservative. This thinking brought us many of the ridiculous candidates who lost four of the last six presidential elections. And with that, we have seen the creation of the current Supreme Court. Less obvious is the raft of activist jurists in the lower courts.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” ~ John Adams

With the majority of this nation’s active voters not being honestly Godly people, the inherent warning of this statement is being proven.

Freelancer on July 3, 2015 at 11:27 PM

Sorry to be “that girl”, but the way I learned it, eons ago, is the “purple mountains’ magesty”, meaning the magesty belongs to the purple mountains. I am pretty sure this makes more sense. This has bothered me for a long time, and I can no longer be silent, since everything else is slipping away, and now “mountain magesties” is the accepted thing. No!

kalneva on July 4, 2015 at 12:27 AM

God Bless America — Happy 4th to all of you…

dpduq on July 4, 2015 at 1:10 AM

I strongly disagree. I am somewhat socially moderate or right of center on social issues like helping those who genuinely need it, working with children who have no families, and providing help for seniors. To say that you cannot be socially moderate and fiscally conservative at the same time is hooey. I am very conservative in my views and desires for small government, good schools not indoctrination camps, and a very strong defense for this country. But I also believe we live on this planet with a lot of others and must work together on some common goals. There is no difference between some conservatives ideas that it must be their candidate or they will sit home like 5 year olds and the liberals ideas that it must be their candidate ie they don’t sit home. All the people that sat home during the last election are accountable for the mess that we have now. Country, duty, honor–not ideaology.
PS And discrediting someone for their religion is discrimination!

AReadyRepub on July 4, 2015 at 1:59 AM

A simple Amen. Thank you Ed, and thank you Hillsdale College choir. Beautifully done.

NeoCon_1 on July 4, 2015 at 11:13 AM

I am somewhat socially moderate or right of center on social issues like helping those who genuinely need it, working with children who have no families, and providing help for seniors.

AReadyRepub on July 4, 2015 at 1:59 AM

You have obviously missed the point of Conservatism. Your “socially moderate” examples are the basis of Conservatism.

NOMOBO on July 4, 2015 at 11:27 AM

…the Republic ended this week…it’s over…

Pelosi Schmelosi on July 3, 2015 at 5:54 PM

The Republic stands, it’s far from over. Don’t be silly.

thebrokenrattle on July 4, 2015 at 12:01 PM

Beautiful!

evie1949 on July 4, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Is that President Bush and granddaughter Mila at 2:55?
It sure looks like them!

djn on July 4, 2015 at 7:02 PM

Frankly, I like this song more than our national anthem.

SC.Charlie on July 4, 2015 at 7:19 PM

Frankly, I like this song more than our national anthem.

SC.Charlie on July 4, 2015 at 7:19 PM

Me too and I’m deeply patriotic.The truth is that our nation, our wonderful glorious nation–deserves a much better song than the SS Banner, the first verse of which ends in a question and is almost impossible for the average singer to manage. Not to mention the tune was originally a drinking song.

I know it will never be changed and so be it, but I agree that “America the Beautiful” is by far a superior song. Well done here too.

Grace_is_sufficient on July 5, 2015 at 8:01 AM