Welcome, lyricists, to a chance to create a national anthem worthy of George Gershwin and all of America. The original lyrics to “O Land of Mine, America,” written in 1919 by Englishman Michael E. Rourke were written at the end of WWI and sound a bit dated today. America deserves a patriotic song by its preeminent composer. Please help spread the word on this issue in advance of its centennial in 2019.
You can download a pdf of the sheet music here: o-land-of-mine-america-p1.
Here is how Gershwin’s original piano score sounds:
And here it is fully orchestrated:
The full story on Gershwin’s Anthem can be found here.
Details on prizes and judging of entries are still to be worked out. Please e-mail all lyric entries to email@example.com. And while you’re here, please check out these other Gershwin songs which could use a serious rewrite Updating Old Lyrics.
Here are Michael E. Rourke’s “O Land of Mine, America” lyrics:
From the farm, from the shop, from the home, they came when they heard the call.
And they builded a bridge ‘cross the foam, with hand and with heart giving all.
’Twas the call they had waited to hear, the cry of a world in pain,
And a life was a price not too dear, that freedom might ever reign
O Land of Mine, America, with Liberty alight,
Around the world, your flag unfurled, proclaims the dawn of Right.
The stars that fell from out the skies upon your banner bright
Have blazed the way for love to stray, where thundered Freedom’s fight.
Mothers all, North and South, East and West, forever your name shall bless,
And the babe to her bosom is pressed, in safety and happiness
Eyes that once had been working with tears, shall see in your flag above
Starry symbols to last through the years, of Liberty, Life, and Love.