"Free-to-use" means the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing - sometimes in a limited setting.
Seasonal noteMemorial Day is an American holiday. Originally it was to honor soldiers who died in the Civil War. Today, it is a time to remember all of America's war dead. Previously it has been called Decoration Day.
Hymns for Memorial Day services generally focus God's blessing and peace for the nation, as well as American patriotism.
Hymn suggestionsPatriotic / American hymns include:
- America the Beautiful
- Battle Hymn of the Republic
- Eternal Father Strong to Save
- God Bless America (the 1918 lyrics are definitely public domain, the later re-write may be)
- God of our Fathers
- Kneel Where our Loves are Sleeping
- My Country 'Tis of Thee
- Sleep Sweetly in your Humble Graves
Peace-oriented copyright-free hymns include:
- Behold the Mountains of the Lord
- Great is Thy Faithfulness
- In Christ there is no East or West
- Jesus, Lord, we Look to Thee
- Judge Eternal throned in Splendour
- Kum ba yah, my Lord
- Lead us Heavenly Father Lead Us
- Lord Make me an Instrument of Peace (tune: The Water is Wide)
- O God of Love O King of Peace
- Peace like a River
- Shalom my Friends
- Son of God Eternal Saviour
Suggestions about hymns that could be included are welcome: leave a comment below.