Let no one ever doubt that Charlie Daniels loves America. He’s just proved it again.
As the nation celebrates the 239th anniversary of its independence, the country music icon shared a heartfelt piece he wrote a few years back about his love for the United States.
Set against a backdrop of a strumming guitar, Daniels recites the words in a moving tribute to the greatness of America seldom heard in the polarizing times that define the presidency of Barack Obama.
“I have just completed a leg of our 2015 tour that has taken me across the entire heartland of America, Pacific to Atlantic, and once again I’m deeply touched by what this country means to me,” Daniels wrote on his website.
“As the 239th birthday of the greatest nation the world has never known approaches, I can think of no better way to use the Soapbox space this week than by celebrating the greatness of the blessed United States of America, by sharing a piece I wrote years ago that describes my feelings for my homeland.”
Here is the complete transcript of Daniels’ ode to America:
My Beautiful America
Have you ever spent the late afternoon
Watching the purple shadows deepen in the Arizona desert?
Or seen a herd of Elk plough their way
Through waist deep snow on a cold Colorado dawn?
Did you ever see the sun go down in Hawaii
Or seen the stormy waves break over the rockbound coast of Maine
Or have you ever see an eagle fly up out of the mists of Alaska
Or a big October moon hanging full over the still Dakota badlands?
Have you ever tasted the gumbo in New Orleans, barbecue in Carolina
Or the chicken wings in Buffalo?
Have you ever had Brunswick stew in Macon, or cornbread in Birmingham?
Or briskets slow cooked over hill country mesquite wood?
Did you ever drink the water from a gurgling branch in Utah,
Or stand on the mountain above El Paso Del Norte
And see the lights twinkling clear over into Mexico
Did you ever jingle horses in the pre dawn stillness of a perfect Texas day
And watch their shod hooves kicking up sparks on the volcanic rock?
Or tended a trot line on a foggy Carolina morning,
Or heard the distant love song of a lovesick whippoorwill
On a pristine Tennessee late night?
Have you seen the faces on Mount Rushmore or stood at the Vietnam monument?
Have you ever crossed the mighty Mississippi,
Or been to the Daddy of ‘Em All in Cheyenne, Wyoming
Or seen the mighty Vols run out on the football field on a chilly autumn afternoon?
Did you ever see the Chicago skyline from Lakeshore Drive at night
Or the New England foliage in the fall,
Or the summer beauty of the Shenandoah valley,
Or Indiana covered with new snow?
Did you ever see a herd of wild horses running free
Across the empty spaces of Nevada?
Or catch a walleyed pike out of a cold Wisconsin stream,
Or marveled at the tall ships docked in the harbor at Baltimore?
Did you ever see the early morning dew sparkling on the bluegrass,
Or the wind stir the wheat fields on a hot Kansas afternoon
Or driven the lonely stretches of old Route 66
Have you ever heard the church bells peal their call to worship
On an early Sunday, in some small town in the Deep South?
Or passed through the Redwood Forest just as the sun was going down?
Have you ever been to Boise or Baxley or Beaufort or Billings?
Have you ever passed through Sanford or Suffolk or San Angelo
Have you ever seen the falls at Niagara
The Ice Palace in Saint Paul
Or the Gateway to the West?
This then is America!
The land God blesses with everything
And no Eiffel Tower: No Taj Mahal,
No Alps, No Andes
No native hut, nor Royal Palace
Can rival her awesome beauty,
Her diverse population, her monolithic majesty.
America the Free
America the mighty
America the beautiful
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands
One nation under God, indivisible
with liberty and justice for all.
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