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Independence Day Special (June 29, 2014) - #4424 Music & the Spoken Word

Music & the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. June 29, 2014 Broadcast Number 4424. This Independence Day Special will be distributed for public broadcast in June of 2015.


"The Star-Spangled Banner"1
Composer: John Stafford Smith
Lyrics: Francis Scott Key
Arrangement: Frank Asper

"This Land Is Your Land"2
Composer: Woody Guthrie
Lyrics: Woody Guthrie
Arrangement: Percy Faith & Michael Davis

"The Pledge of Allegiance"2
Composer: Charles Osgood
Lyrics: Francis Bellamy
Arrangement: Michael Davis

"Rally 'Round the Flag" (Organ Solo)
Composer: George F. Root
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

"My Country, 'Tis of Thee"
Tune from Theasaurus Musicus, 1744
Lyrics: Samuel F. Smith
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

"Distant Land"2
Composer: John Rutter
Lyrics: John Rutter

"Flag of the Free"
Medley arranged by Michael Davis
Lyrics: Francis Bellamy

  1. Another arrangement of this song is on the album Spirit of America and in the CD Collection Encore Collection: The Many Sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
  2. On the album Spirit of America and in the CD Collection Encore Collection: The Many Sounds of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Spoken Word

"What Can You Do?"

In an elementary school classroom filled with energetic children, the teacher asks the students to respond to two questions. The first question is "What do you like most about living in America?" The answers come quickly: the beautiful land and scenery, the lakes and mountains, the many things to do and see, the freedom, the people, and on and on. After the children finish their responses, the teacher asks a second and more important question: "So what can you do to make America better?"

It's one thing to appreciate America's history and uniqueness and marvel at its beauty and prosperity; it's another thing to take an active part in preserving its strengths, perpetuating its ideals, and defending the values it holds dear. America is best loved up close and personal, not at a detached distance. And, of course, while extraordinary, America is not without vexing problems and concerns. But a country doesn't have to be perfect to be beloved. In fact, our love for our country is what inspires us to find ways to overcome its flaws and shortcomings. And one thing we love so much about America is the freedom and opportunity it grants us to tirelessly pursue improvement and progression.

We make our nation better by getting informed and involved in good causes, by working together despite our differences, by helping each other and lifting those around us.

As a nation, we will remain strong and free if we constructively work to improve our communities. We will continue to stand as a light of liberty for the world if we uphold the values and principles upon which this nation was founded.

True patriots are those who cherish freedom and do their part to improve and strengthen the land they love. We would do well to answer the question posed to the schoolchildren: "What can you do to make it better?"