Mount Rushmore Song

Mrs. Hartman’s students of Custer Elementary School wrote their song with songwriter David Lee Brown, inspired by Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

“It’s Amazing”
Words and music by David Lee Brown
with Mrs. Hartman’s 5th Grade Class
©2016 National Park Service

      Mount Rushmore Song Custer

​In the Black Hills of South Dakota, there’s a gallery of rock
On a great big, granite mountain, If those faces could talk
It started with an idea, Doane Robinson had a dream
He gave it to Gutzon Borglum, and they built a team
Of 400 men and women, working hard for fourteen years
They had a monumental goal, look what appeared

It’s amazing…Mount Rushmore…When you see it…there’s more

They had to believe in their mission
And they had to be brave
To chip and carve and chisel the rock, and blast away
To make the mountain come alive with faces from the past
The spirit of these presidents will always hold fast
It’s our responsibility to honor and to care
To keep that great big dream alive, for all to share

It’s amazing…Mount Rushmore…When you see it…there’s more

Abe, George, Thomas and Teddy served our country well
They’re such an inspiration, gave us a story to tell
Honest and kind and wise enough, remembered in this way
Had great expectations, we still live today
It’s fortunate for us to have the freedom to succeed
Our voices loud and clear preserve, these memories

It’s amazing…Mount Rushmore…When you see it…there’s more

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mrs. Hartman’s 5th Grade Class

In 1923, a state historian named Doane Robinson had an idea. He thought it would be good to draw more visitors to South Dakota. So he decided to go big! He suggested carving giant statues in the granite needles of the Black Hills of South Dakota. He wanted to carve Native American and Frontier heroes.

Although some people were skeptical of man carving into God’s creation, the idea did have many supporters. They decided to call in the master sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Borglum had studied art in Paris and had worked on many large projects, including a remodeled torch for the statue of liberty and an oversized bust of Abraham Lincoln for the nation’s capital. Borglum accepted the challenge, but rejected the idea of carving into the “fragile” needles, and instead chose Mount Rushmore.

The mountain had been named in 1885 for New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore who had ridden on horseback through the area. When he came upon the mountain, he asked the guide what the name of it was. The guide said it did not have a name and would from then on be called Mt. Rushmore. Borglum chose this mountain to carve because of its sturdy, broad granite wall that faced southeast to receive direct sunlight for most of the day.

Gutzon Borglum was very patriotic and chose to make the project not just a regional enterprise, but a national cause. He envisioned four presidents next to an entablature inscribed with our country’s history. Behind the sculpture, would be a Hall of Records to house and preserve national documents and artifacts.

For fourteen years, work was done by about 400 men and women to create this memorial. Of those workers, there is one man still living today. His name is Nick Clifford. There was even a baseball team recruited to help. During the time of working, Borglum realized that the power supply was always low on Mondays. After some investigating, he discovered that Monday was the day the local housewives did their laundry. So he approached the women and asked them to switch their laundry days. They agreed and work continued on.

The total cost to complete the project was nearly $1 million, most of which came in from Borglum’s efforts by lobbying state officials, representatives and senators, cabinet members and presidents. The carving of George Washington’s head was dedicated in 1930, Jefferson in 1936, Lincoln in 1937, and Roosevelt in 1939. Gutzon Borglum died in 1941 and his son Lincoln Borglum supervised the continued work on the Memorial. The final dedication was held in 1991, 50 years after Borglum died.

Some cool facts about Mount Rushmore are: Over the years, 450,000 tons of stone were blasted off the mountain. The faces on Mt. Rushmore are 60 ft. high. That is as tall as a 6 story building! Washington’s nose is 21 ft. long, but the rest are only 20ft long. Over 3 million people visit the park each year. And we hope you’re one of them!

Comments are closed.