Democracy depends on each of us upholding values like liberty and civic-mindedness, not simply mouthing patriotic words. These alternative lyrics to "America, the Beautiful" suggest that we've strayed from giving all we can and need to find our way back to caring.

Democracy, the Vulnerable is written and sung by Micah Bucey, a regular contributor to Spirituality & Practice.

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Democracy, the Vulnerable
(America, the Beautiful)

O vuln’rable democracy,
We’ve trampled on your heart.
We bellow words like “liberty,”
And fail to do our part.
Democracy! Democracy!
We can’t just think and pray.
Each thought and prayer must make us care.
Show us another way.

O vuln’rable democracy,
We’re blind to those who bleed.
We rant from armchairs comfort’bly,
Forgetting those in need.
Democracy! Democracy!
Shove us onto the street.
Give us the choice to raise our voice.
Don’t let us drag our feet.

O vuln’rable democracy,
We’d like to think we’re blessed.
It’s tough to follow faithfully,
And not just end up stressed.
Democracy! Democracy!
Lead calmly toward success.
With you, we might just win the fight.
Without you, we’re a mess.

O vuln’rable democracy,
Nudge us to do our best.
Show all of us what we can be
And put us to the test.
Democracy! Democracy!
Remind us we are you.
You’re doomed to be some lame theory.
If we can’t follow through.

More Democracy Songs

Hold Tight, Democracy ("God Bless America")
My Sweet Democracy ("My Country, 'Tis of Thee")
Oh, Democracy, Where Are You? ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic")