Forty-nine 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.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.
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. Tennessee has the most state songs, with 9 official state songs and an official bicentennial rap.
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2018. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
Tennessee is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Tennessee is the 36th largest and the 16th most populous of the 50 United States. Tennessee is bordered by Kentucky to the north, Virginia to the northeast, North Carolina to the east, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi to the south, Arkansas to the west, and Missouri to the northwest. The Appalachian Mountains dominate the eastern part of the state, and the Mississippi River forms the state's western border. Nashville is the state's capital and largest city, with a 2017 population of 667,560 and a 2017 metro population of 1,903,045. Tennessee's second largest city is Memphis, which had a population of 652,236 in 2017.
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.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
Two individuals, Stephen Foster, and John Denver, have written or co-written two state songs. Foster's two state songs, "Old Folks at Home" (better known as "Swanee Ribber" or "Suwannee River") (for adopted by Florida), and "My Old Kentucky Home" are among the best-known songs in the U.S. On March 12, 2007, the Colorado Senate passed a resolution to make Denver's trademark 1972 hit "Rocky Mountain High" one of the state's two official state songs, sharing duties with its predecessor, "Where the Columbines Grow".On March 7, 2014, the West Virginia Legislature approved a resolution to make Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" one of four official state songs of West Virginia. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed the resolution into law on March 8, 2014. Other well-known state songs include "Yankee Doodle", "You Are My Sunshine", "Rocky Top", 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.
Stephen Collins Foster, known as "the father of American music", was an American songwriter known primarily for his parlor and minstrel music. He wrote more than 200 songs, including "Oh! Susanna", "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home", "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer", and many of his compositions remain popular today. He has been identified as "the most famous songwriter of the nineteenth century" and may be the most recognizable American composer in other countries. His compositions are sometimes referred to as "childhood songs" because they have been included in the music curriculum of early education. Most of his handwritten music manuscripts are lost, but editions issued by publishers of his day can be found in various collections.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was one of America's best-selling performers, and AllMusic has described Denver as "among the most beloved entertainers of his era".
"Old Folks at Home" is a minstrel song written by Stephen Foster in 1851. Since 1935 it has been the official state song of Florida, although in 2008 the original lyrics were revised.
New Jersey has no official state song, while Virginia's previous state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", adopted in 1940,was rescinded due to its racist language by the Virginia General Assembly. In 2015, "Our Great Virginia" was made the new state song of Virginia.
New Jersey is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is a peninsula, bordered on the north and east by the state of New York; on the east, southeast, and south by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west by the Delaware River and Pennsylvania; and on the southwest by the Delaware Bay and Delaware. New Jersey is the fourth-smallest state by area but the 11th-most populous, with 9 million residents as of 2017, making it the most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states with its biggest city being Newark. New Jersey lies completely within the combined statistical areas of New York City and Philadelphia. New Jersey was the second-wealthiest U.S. state by median household income as of 2017.
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States located between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna. The capital of the Commonwealth is Richmond; Virginia Beach is the most populous city, and Fairfax County is the most populous political subdivision. The Commonwealth's estimated population as of 2018 is over 8.5 million.
"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" is a song which was written by James A. Bland (1854–1911), an African American who wrote over 700 songs. It is not an adaption by Bland of the "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" by the Christy Minstrels, also known by the title; "Floating Scow of Old Virginny", a song copyrighted by Edwin Pearce Christy in 1847. Bland simply appropriated the song title. Bland's song bears no resemblance to it melodically, harmonically, or in the lyrics. The latter song was very popular during the California gold rush and the American Civil War. Many parodies were written on this melody and became popular with miners, Civil War soldiers and civilians. Bland's version, the best known, was written in 1878 when many newly-freed slaves were struggling to find work. The song has become controversial in modern times, with critics viewing the lyrics as racially insensitive.
Maryland ("Maryland, My Maryland") and Iowa ("The Song of Iowa") use the tune from the song "O Tannenbaum" as the melody to their official state songs.
"Maryland, My Maryland" is the official state song of the U.S. state of Maryland. The song is set to the melody of "Lauriger Horatius" — the same tune "O Tannenbaum" was taken from. The lyrics are from a nine-stanza poem written by James Ryder Randall (1839–1908) in 1861. The state's general assembly adopted "Maryland, My Maryland" as the state song on April 29, 1939.
"The Song of Iowa" is the official state song of the U.S. state of Iowa, written by S. H. M. Byers in 1867 and adopted by Iowa State Legislature on March 20, 1911. The song is set to the tune O Tannenbaum and Byres' lyrics' theme is centered on his love and praise for Iowa.
"O Tannenbaum" is a German Christmas song. Based on a traditional folk song, it became associated with the traditional Christmas tree by the early 20th century and sung as a Christmas carol.
|State||State song||Composer(s)||Lyricist(s)||Year adopted|
| Alabama ||"Alabama"||Edna Gockel Gussen||Julia S. Tutwiler||1931|
| Alaska ||"Alaska's Flag"||Elinor Dusenbury||Marie Drake||1955|
| Arizona ||State song: "Arizona"||Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr.||Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr.||1981|
|State anthem: "Arizona March Song"||Maurice Blumenthal||Margaret Rowe Clifford||1919|
| Arkansas ||State anthem: "Arkansas"||Eva Ware Barnett||Eva Ware Barnett||1917/1987|
|"Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)"||Wayland Holyfield||Wayland Holyfield||1987|
|"Oh, Arkansas"||Terry Rose and Gary Klaff||Terry Rose and Gary Klaff||1987|
|State historical song: "The Arkansas Traveler"||Sanford Faulkner||(Official lyrics by committee, 1947)||1949/1987|
| California ||"I Love You, California"||Abraham F. Frankenstein||F. B. Silverwood||1951|
| Colorado ||"Where the Columbines Grow"||A.J. Fynn||1915|
|"Rocky Mountain High"||John Denver and Mike Taylor||John Denver||2007|
| Connecticut ||State song: "Yankee Doodle"||1978|
|State cantata: "The Nutmeg"||2003|
| Delaware ||"Our Delaware"||1925|
| Florida ||Official song: Revised lyrics of "Old Folks at Home (Suwanee River)"||Adopted by the Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh from the original by Stephen Foster||2008 (revised lyrics) |
1935 (original lyrics)
|Official poem: "I Am Florida"||Walter "Clyde" Orange||Allen Autry Sr.||2013|
|State anthem: "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)"||Jan Hinton||2008|
| Georgia ||"Georgia on My Mind", sung by Ray Charles||Hoagy Carmichael||Stuart Gorrell||1979|
| Hawaii ||State anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī"||Henri Berger||King David Kalākaua||1967|
| Idaho ||"Here We Have Idaho"||Sallie Hume Douglas||1931|
| Illinois ||"Illinois"||Archibald Johnston||Charles H. Chamberlain||1925|
| Indiana ||"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away"||Paul Dresser||1913|
| Iowa ||"The Song of Iowa"||S.H.M. Byers||1911|
|Official Companion State Song: "Make Me a World in Iowa"||Effie Burt||2002|
| Kansas ||"Home on the Range"||1947|
|Official state march: "The Kansas March"||1935|
|Official march: "Here's Kansas"||1992|
| Kentucky ||State song: "My Old Kentucky Home"||Stephen Foster||1928|
|Bluegrass song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky"||Bill Monroe||1988|
|"Kentucky Home Made Christmas"|
| Louisiana ||"Give Me Louisiana"||Doralice Fontane||1970|
|"You Are My Sunshine"|| Jimmie Davis |
|State march: "Louisiana My Home Sweet Home"||1952|
|Environmental song: "The Gifts of Earth"|
| Maine ||"State of Maine Song"||Roger Vinton Snow||1937|
| Maryland ||"Maryland, My Maryland"|
(to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")
|James Ryder Randall||1939|
| Massachusetts ||State anthem: "All Hail to Massachusetts"||Arthur J. Marsh||1981|
|State folk song: "Massachusetts"||Arlo Guthrie||1981|
|State ceremonial march: "The Road to Boston"||1985|
|State patriotic song: "Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)"||Bernard Davidson||1989|
|State glee club song: "The Great State of Massachusetts"||1997|
|State polka: "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts"||Lenny Gomulka||1998|
|State ode: "Ode to Massachusetts"||2000|
| Michigan ||An official state song: "My Michigan"||H. O'Reilly Clint||Giles Kavanaugh||1937|
| Minnesota ||"Hail! Minnesota"||1945|
| Mississippi ||"Go, Mississippi"|
(sometimes called Go Mis-sis-sip-pi)
| Missouri ||"Missouri Waltz"||melody: John V. Eppel|
arranged: Frederic K. Logan
| Montana ||"Montana"||1945|
|State ballad: "Montana Melody"||1983|
| Nebraska ||Official: "Beautiful Nebraska"||Jim Fras and Guy Miller||1967|
| Nevada ||"Home Means Nevada"||Bertha Rafetto||1933|
| New Hampshire ||Official: "Old New Hampshire"||1949 |
|Official: "Live Free or Die"||Barry Palmer||2007|
|Honorary: "New Hampshire, My New Hampshire"||1963|
|Honorary: "New Hampshire Hills"||1973|
|Honorary: "Autumn in New Hampshire"||1977|
|Honorary: "New Hampshire's Granite State"||1977|
|Honorary: "Oh, New Hampshire"||1977|
|Honorary: "The Old Man of the Mountain"||1977|
|Honorary: "The New Hampshire State March"||1977|
|Honorary: "New Hampshire Naturally"||1983|
| New Jersey ||None||N/A||N/A|
| New Mexico ||State song: "O Fair New Mexico"||Elizabeth Garrett||1917|
|Spanish state song: "Así Es Nuevo Méjico"||Amadeo Lucero||1971|
|State ballad: "Land of Enchantment"||1989|
|Bilingual song: "New Mexico – Mi Lindo Nuevo México"||Elizabeth Garrett||1995|
|State cowboy song: "Under New Mexico Skies"||Syd Masters||2009|
| New York ||"I Love New York"||Steve Karmen||1977|
| North Carolina ||"The Old North State"||1927|
| North Dakota ||"North Dakota Hymn"||1947|
| Ohio ||"Beautiful Ohio"||Mary Earl||Ballard MacDonald (1969)|
Wilbert McBride (1989)
|Rock song: "Hang On Sloopy"||The McCoys||1985|
| Oklahoma ||Official state song: "Oklahoma"||Rodgers and Hammerstein||1953|
|Official state waltz: "Oklahoma Wind"||1982|
|State Folk Song: "Oklahoma Hills"||Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie||2001|
|Official state children's song: "Oklahoma, My Native Land"||Martha Kemm Barrett||1996|
|Official state gospel song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"||Wallis Willis||2011|
| Oregon ||"Oregon, My Oregon"||J.A. Buchanan and|
Henry B. Murtaghin
| Pennsylvania ||"Pennsylvania"||1990|
| Rhode Island ||State march: "Rhode Island"||1996|
|State song: "Rhode Island, It's for Me"||1996|
| South Carolina ||"Carolina"||Anne Curtis Burgess|| Henry Timrod |
G.R. Goodwin (editor)
|"South Carolina on My Mind"||Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge||1984|
| South Dakota ||"Hail, South Dakota!"||DeeCort Hammitt||1943|
| Tennessee ||"My Homeland, Tennessee"||Roy Lamont Smith||Nell Grayson Taylor||1925|
|"When It's Iris Time in Tennessee"||Willa Waid Newman||1935|
|"My Tennessee"||Frances Hannah Tranum||1955|
|"Tennessee Waltz"||Pee Wee King||Redd Stewart||1965|
|"Rocky Top"|| Boudleaux Bryant /|
|"The Pride of Tennessee"|| Fred Congdon /|
Thomas Vaughn /
|"A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996"||Joan Hill Hanks||1996|
|"Smoky Mountain Rain"|| Kye Fleming |
|"Tennessee"||John R. Bean||2012|
| Texas ||"Texas, Our Texas"||William J. Marsh||William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright||1929|
| Utah ||State song: "Utah…This Is The Place"||Sam and Gary Francis||2003|
|State hymn: "Utah, We Love Thee"|
(State Song 1937-2003)
| Vermont ||"These Green Mountains"|| Diane Martin (composer)|
Rita Buglass Gluck (arranger)
| Virginia ||Traditional state song: "Our Great Virginia"||Jim Papoulis (arranger), based on "Oh Shenandoah"||Mike Greenly||2015|
|Popular state song: "Sweet Virginia Breeze"||Steve Bassett and Robbin Thompson||2015|
|Emeritus state song: "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (retired as official song in 1998)||James A. Bland||1940|
| Washington ||State song: "Washington, My Home"||Stuart Churchill (arranger)||Helen Davis||1959|
|State folk song: "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On"||based on "Goodnight, Irene"||Woody Guthrie||1987|
|Unofficial state rock song: "Louie Louie"||Richard Berry||Richard Berry||unofficial|
| West Virginia ||Official state song: "The West Virginia Hills"||Henry Everett Engle||Ellen Ruddell King||1963|
|Official state song: "This Is My West Virginia"||Iris Bell||Iris Bell||1963|
|Official state song: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home"||Julian G. Hearne, Jr.||Julian G. Hearne, Jr.||1963|
|Official state song: "Take Me Home, Country Roads"|| John Denver |
| Wisconsin ||State song: "On, Wisconsin!"||William T. Purdy||Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard||1959|
|State ballad: "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams"||Shari A. Sarazin||Erma Barrett||2001|
|State waltz: "The Wisconsin Waltz"||Eddie Hansen||Eddie Hansen||2001|
| Wyoming ||State March: "Wyoming"||George Edwin Knapp||Charles E. Winter||1955|
|State Song: "Wyoming Where I Belong"||Annie & Amy Smith||Annie & Amy Smith||2018[ citation needed ]|
Some American overseas territories, although not U.S. states, have songs and marches of their own.
| American Samoa ||"Amerika Samoa"|
| District of Columbia ||Song: "Washington"||Jimmie Dodd||1951|
|March: "Our Nation's Capital"||Anthony A. Mitchell||1961|
| Guam ||"Stand Ye Guamanians"||1919|
| Northern Mariana Islands ||"Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi"||1996|
| Puerto Rico ||Anthem: "La Borinqueña"||Félix Astol Artés||Manuel Fernández Juncos||1977|
| United States Virgin Islands ||"Virgin Islands March"||1963|
The flags of the U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia exhibit a variety of regional influences and local histories, as well as different styles and design principles. Nonetheless, the majority of the states' flags share the same design pattern consisting of the state seal superimposed on a monochrome background, commonly a shade of blue.
The Utah State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Utah. It is a bicameral body, comprising the Utah House of Representatives, with 75 state representatives, and the Utah Senate, with 29 state senators. There are no term limits for either chamber.
No promo homo laws are laws approved by various U.S. states that prohibit or limit the mention or discussion of homosexuality and transgender identity in public schools. In theory, these laws mainly apply to sex ed courses, but they can also be applied to other parts of the school curriculum as well as to extracurricular activities and organizations such as gay-straight alliances.