Let America Be America Again

Words copyright © 1935 by Langston Hughes
Music Creative Commons License 2004 by Jim Bearden

Verse 1:
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream that it should be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he can be free.
(But it never was America to me.)

Verse 2:
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed —
Let it be that great strong land of love.
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
Nor any man be crushed by those above.
(But it never was America to me.)

Verse 3:
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
Let opportunity be real, and life be free,
Let equality be in the air we breathe.
(But there’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Bridge 1:
The free?
Who said “the free”? Not me!
Surely not me — The millions out of work today.
The millions who have nothing for our pay —
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

Verse 4:
O, let America be America again —
The land that never has been yet — and yet must be.
The land where every man is free —
The land that’s mine – black, white, rich, poor, red, brown, yellow, gay, straight… ME.

Bridge 2:
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose–
The steel of freedom will not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again: America!

Bridge 3:
O, yes, I say it plain,
It never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath:
America will be!

End:
Out of the ruin of our plunder and greed,
The rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must reclaim
The land, the rivers, the mountains, and the plains —
All of the beauty of these great green states —
And let America be America again!

 

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