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State song

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State song

For the album by John Linnell, see State Songs.

Forty-eight of the fifty U.S. states that make up the United States of America have one or more state songs, which are selected by each state legislature, and/or state governor, as a symbol (or emblem) of that particular U.S. state. New Jersey does not have an official state song, while Virginia's state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", adopted in 1940,[1] is now considered the "emeritus" state song and is scheduled to be replaced, having been rescinded by the Virginia General Assembly. The General Assembly has not voted on a new song yet - the process of selection, including an extensive contest for public submissions, began in 1998.

Some U.S. states have more than one official state song, and may refer to some of their official songs by other names; for example, Arkansas officially has two state songs, plus a state anthem, and a state historical song. Arizona has a song that was written specifically as a state anthem in 1915, as well as the 1981 country hit "Arizona", which it adopted as the alternate state anthem in 1982.[1]

A few of these songs are among the best-known songs in the U.S., including "Old Folks at Home" (better known as "Swanee Ribber" or "Suwannee River"), "Yankee Doodle", "You Are My Sunshine", "My Old Kentucky Home", and "Home on the Range"; a number of others are popular standards, including "Oklahoma!" (from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical), Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind", "Tennessee Waltz", "Missouri Waltz", and "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away". Many of the others are much less well-known, especially outside the state.

State songs

State State song Composer/Lyricist Year adopted
"Alabama" Mrs. Edna Gockel Gussen /
Julia Strudwick Tutwiler
"Alaska's Flag" Elinor Dusenbury and
Carol Beery Davis
State song: "Arizona" Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr. 1981[1][4]
State anthem: "Arizona March Song" 1919[1][4]
State anthem: "Arkansas" 1917/1987[1]
"Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)" 1987[1]
"Oh, Arkansas" 1987[1]
State historical song: "The Arkansas Traveler" 1949/1987[1][5]
"I Love You, California" words by: F. B. Silverwood
music by: Alfred F. Frankenstein
"Where the Columbines Grow" A.J. Fynn 1915[1][6]
"Rocky Mountain High" Lyrics: John Denver
Music: John Denver and Mike Taylor
State song: "Yankee Doodle" 1978[1][8]
State cantata: "The Nutmeg" 2003[1][8]
"Our Delaware" 1925[1]
Official song: Revised lyrics of "Old Folks at Home (Swanee Ribber)" Adopted by the Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh from the original by Stephen Foster 2008 (revised lyrics)[9]
1935 (original lyrics)[1]
State anthem: "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)"
Jan Hinton 2008[10]
"Georgia on My Mind", sung by Ray Charles Words: Stuart Gorrell
Music: Hoagy Carmichael
State anthem: "Hawai'i pono'i" Words: King David Kalākaua
Music: Henri Berger
"Here We Have Idaho" Sallie Hume Douglas 1931[1]
"Illinois" 1967[1]
"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" Paul Dresser 1913[1]
Unofficial state song: "Back Home Again in Indiana" Ballard MacDonald
James F. Hanley
"The Song of Iowa" S.H.M. Byers 1911[1]
Official Companion State Song: "Make Me a World in Iowa" Effie Burt 2002[1][13]
"Home on the Range" 1947[1]
Official state march: "The Kansas March" 1935[1]
Official march: "Here's Kansas" 1992[1]
State song: "My Old Kentucky Home" Stephen Foster 1928[1]
Bluegrass song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Bill Monroe 1988[1][14]
"Kentucky Home Made Christmas"
"Give Me Louisiana" 1970[1]
"You Are My Sunshine" Jimmie Davis
(former governor)
State march: "Louisiana My Home Sweet Home" 1952[1]
Environmental song: "The Gifts of Earth" [15]
"State of Maine Song" Roger Vinton Snow 1937[1]
"Maryland, My Maryland"
(to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")
Lyrics: James Ryder Randall 1939[1][16]
State anthem: "All Hail to Massachusetts" Arthur J. Marsh 1981[1][17]
Unofficial state song: "The Spirit of America" 1988
State folk song: "Massachusetts" Arlo Guthrie 1981[1][18]
State ceremonial march: "The Road to Boston" 1985[1][19]
State patriotic song: "Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)" 1989[1][20]
State glee club song: "The Great State of Massachusetts" 1997[1][21]
State polka: "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts" Lenny Gomulka[22] 1998[23]
State ode: "Ode to Massachusetts" 2000[1][24]
An official state song: "My Michigan" Giles Kavanaugh (lyrics), H. O'Reilly Clint (music) 1937[1]
Unofficial state song: "Michigan, My Michigan" Winifred Lee Brent Lyster (1862 original; tune, "O Tannenbaum!"); James W. Long (1886 version; same tune); Douglas Malloch (1902 lyrics and new tune) Not official
"Hail! Minnesota" 1945[1]
"Go, Mississippi"
(sometimes called Go Mis-sis-sip-pi)
"Missouri Waltz" melody: John V. Eppel
arranged: Frederic K. Logan
lyrics: J.R. Shannon
"Montana" 1945[1]
State ballad: "Montana Melody" 1983[5]
Official: "Beautiful Nebraska" Jim Fras & Guy G. Miller 1967[1][25]
Unofficial : "Dear Old Nebraska U (There Is No Place Like Nebraska)" Harry Pecha 1924
"Home Means Nevada" Bertha Rafetto 1933[1]
Official: "Old New Hampshire" 1949[1]
Honorary: "New Hampshire, My New Hampshire" 1963[1]
Honorary: "New Hampshire Hills" 1973[1]
Honorary: "Autumn in New Hampshire" 1977[1]
Honorary: "New Hampshire's Granite State" 1977[1]
Honorary: "Oh, New Hampshire" 1977[1]
Honorary: "The Old Man of the Mountain" 1977[1]
Honorary: "The New Hampshire State March" 1977[1]
Honorary: "New Hampshire Naturally" 1983[1][26]
Unofficial anthem: "I'm From New Jersey" Red Mascara 1961[27]
State song: "O Fair New Mexico" Elizabeth Garrett 1917[1]
Spanish state song: "Así Es Nuevo Méjico" Elizabeth Garrett 1971[1]
State ballad: "Land of Enchantment" 1989[1]
Bilingual song: "New Mexico - Mi Lindo Nuevo México" Elizabeth Garrett 1995[1]
State cowboy song: "Under New Mexico Skies" Syd Masters 2009
"I Love New York" Steve Karmen[28]
"The Old North State" 1927[1]
"North Dakota Hymn" 1947[1]
"Beautiful Ohio" Mary Earl, music
Ballard MacDonald, original lyrics
Wilbert McBride, 1989 lyrics
Rock song: "Hang on Sloopy" The McCoys 1985[1][30]
Official song: "Oklahoma!" Rodgers and Hammerstein 1953[1][31]
Official state waltz: "Oklahoma Wind" 1982[1]
Rock song: "Do You Realize??" The Flaming Lips 2009[32]
Official state folk song: "Oklahoma Hills" Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie 2001[33]
"Oregon, My Oregon" J.A. Buchanan and
Henry B. Murtaghin
"Pennsylvania" 1990[1]
State march: "Rhode Island" 1996
State song: "Rhode Island, It's for Me" 1996[1]
"Carolina" 1911[1]
"South Carolina on My Mind" 1984[1]
"Hail, South Dakota!" 1943[1]
"My Homeland, Tennessee" Nell Grayson Taylor /
Roy Lamont Smith
"When It's Iris Time in Tennessee" Willa Waid Newman 1935
"My Tennessee" Frances Hannah Tranum 1931[1]
"The Tennessee Waltz" Redd Stewart /
Pee Wee King
"Rocky Top" Boudleaux Bryant /
Felice Bryant
"Tennessee" Vivian Rorie 1992
"The Pride of Tennessee" Fred Congdon /
Thomas Vaughn /
Carol Elliot
"Smoky Mountain Rain" Kye Fleming
Dennis Morgan
"Texas, Our Texas" William J. Marsh (of Fort Worth) 1933[1][36]
State song: "Utah, This is the Place" Sam and Gary Francis 2003[37]
State hymn: "Utah, We Love Thee"
(State Song 1937-2003)[38]
Evan Stephens 2003[1]
"These Green Mountains" 1999[1]
Emeritus state song: "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (rescinded in 1998; not yet replaced) James Bland[39] 1940[1][40]
State song: "Washington, My Home" 1959[1]
State folk song: "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" Woody Guthrie 1987[1][41]
Unofficial state rock song: "Louie Louie" Richard Berry [42]
Official state song: "The West Virginia Hills" 1963[1]
Official state song: "This Is My West Virginia" 1963[1]
Official state song: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" 1963[1]
State song: "On, Wisconsin!" Lyrics: Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard
Music: William T. Purdy
State ballad: "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams" 2001[1]
State waltz: "The Wisconsin Waltz" Eddie Hansen 2001[1]
"Wyoming" 1955[1]


Some American overseas territories, although not U.S. states, have songs and marches of their own.

Territory Song Composer/Lyricist Year adopted
"Amerika Samoa"
Song: "Washington" Jimmie Dodd 1951[43]
March: "Our Nation's Capitol" Anthony A. Mitchell 1961[43]
"Stand Ye Guamanians" 1919
"Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi" 1996
"La Borinqueña" Lyrics: Manuel Fernández Juncos
Music: Félix Astol Artés
"Virgin Islands March" 1963

See also


External links

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