List of U.S. state songs

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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.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

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.

United States Federal republic in North America

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.

State legislature (United States) legislature of a U.S. state

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 State of the United States of America

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 State of the United States of America

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. [1]

Arizona state of the United States of America

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". [2] 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. [3] 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 Foster American songwriter

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.

John Denver American singer, songwriter, and activist

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 song

"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, [1] was rescinded due to its racist language by the Virginia General Assembly. [4] In 2015, "Our Great Virginia" was made the new state song of Virginia. [5]

New Jersey State of the United States of America

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 State of the United States of America

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. [6]

Maryland, My Maryland song

"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 Christmas song

"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 songs

StateState songComposer(s)Lyricist(s)Year adopted
Flag of Alabama.svg
"Alabama"Edna Gockel GussenJulia S. Tutwiler1931 [1] [7]
Flag of Alaska.svg
"Alaska's Flag"Elinor DusenburyMarie Drake1955 [1] [8]
Flag of Arizona.svg
State song: "Arizona" Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr. Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr.1981 [1] [9]
State anthem: "Arizona March Song"Maurice BlumenthalMargaret Rowe Clifford1919 [1] [9]
Flag of Arkansas.svg
State anthem: "Arkansas"Eva Ware BarnettEva Ware Barnett1917/1987 [1] [10]
"Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)" Wayland Holyfield Wayland Holyfield1987 [1] [10]
"Oh, Arkansas"Terry Rose and Gary KlaffTerry Rose and Gary Klaff1987 [1] [10]
State historical song: "The Arkansas Traveler" Sanford Faulkner (Official lyrics by committee, 1947)1949/1987 [1] [10]
Flag of California.svg
"I Love You, California" Abraham F. Frankenstein F. B. Silverwood1951 [1]
Flag of Colorado.svg
"Where the Columbines Grow"A.J. Fynn1915 [1] [11]
"Rocky Mountain High" John Denver and Mike TaylorJohn Denver2007 [12]
Flag of Connecticut.svg
State song: "Yankee Doodle"1978 [1] [13]
State cantata: "The Nutmeg"2003 [1] [13]
Flag of Delaware.svg
"Our Delaware"1925 [1]
Flag of Florida.svg
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) [14]
1935 (original lyrics) [1]
Official poem: "I Am Florida"Walter "Clyde" OrangeAllen Autry Sr.2013 [15] [16]
State anthem: "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)"
Jan Hinton 2008 [17]
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg
"Georgia on My Mind", sung by Ray Charles Hoagy Carmichael Stuart Gorrell 1979 [1]
Flag of Hawaii.svg
State anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī" Henri Berger King David Kalākaua 1967 [1] [18]
Flag of Idaho.svg
"Here We Have Idaho" Sallie Hume Douglas 1931 [1]
Flag of Illinois.svg
"Illinois"Archibald JohnstonCharles H. Chamberlain1925 [19]
Flag of Indiana.svg
"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" Paul Dresser 1913 [1]
Flag of Iowa.svg
"The Song of Iowa" S.H.M. Byers 1911 [1]
Official Companion State Song: "Make Me a World in Iowa" Effie Burt 2002 [1] [20]
Flag of Kansas.svg
"Home on the Range"1947 [1]
Official state march: "The Kansas March"1935 [1]
Official march: "Here's Kansas"1992 [1]
Flag of Kentucky.svg
State song: "My Old Kentucky Home" Stephen Foster 1928 [1]
Bluegrass song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Bill Monroe 1988 [1] [21]
"Kentucky Home Made Christmas"
Flag of Louisiana.svg
"Give Me Louisiana" Doralice Fontane [22] 1970 [1]
"You Are My Sunshine" Jimmie Davis
(former governor)
1977 [1]
State march: "Louisiana My Home Sweet Home"1952 [1]
Environmental song: "The Gifts of Earth" [23]
Flag of Maine.svg
"State of Maine Song"Roger Vinton Snow1937 [1]
Flag of Maryland.svg
"Maryland, My Maryland"
(to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")
James Ryder Randall 1939 [1] [24]
Flag of Massachusetts.svg
State anthem: "All Hail to Massachusetts"Arthur J. Marsh1981 [1] [25]
State folk song: "Massachusetts" Arlo Guthrie 1981 [1] [26]
State ceremonial march: "The Road to Boston"1985 [1] [27]
State patriotic song: "Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)"Bernard Davidson1989 [1] [28]
State glee club song: "The Great State of Massachusetts"1997 [1] [29]
State polka: "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts" Lenny Gomulka [30] 1998 [31]
State ode: "Ode to Massachusetts"2000 [1] [32]
Flag of Michigan.svg
An official state song: "My Michigan"H. O'Reilly ClintGiles Kavanaugh1937 [1]
Flag of Minnesota.svg
"Hail! Minnesota"1945 [1]
Flag of Mississippi.svg
"Go, Mississippi"
(sometimes called Go Mis-sis-sip-pi)
1962 [1]
Flag of Missouri.svg
"Missouri Waltz"melody: John V. Eppel
arranged: Frederic K. Logan
J.R. Shannon1949 [1]
Flag of Montana.svg
"Montana"1945 [1]
State ballad: "Montana Melody"1983 [1]
Flag of Nebraska.svg
Official: "Beautiful Nebraska"Jim Fras and Guy Miller1967 [1] [33]
Flag of Nevada.svg
"Home Means Nevada"Bertha Rafetto1933 [1]
New Hampshire
Flag of New Hampshire.svg
Official: "Old New Hampshire"1949 [1]
Official: "Live Free or Die"Barry Palmer2007
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] [34]
New Jersey
Flag of New Jersey.svg
None [35] N/AN/A
New Mexico
Flag of New Mexico.svg
State song: "O Fair New Mexico" Elizabeth Garrett 1917 [1]
Spanish state song: "Así Es Nuevo Méjico" Amadeo Lucero 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 Masters2009
New York
Flag of New York.svg
"I Love New York" Steve Karmen 1977 [36]
North Carolina
Flag of North Carolina.svg
"The Old North State"1927 [1]
North Dakota
Flag of North Dakota.svg
"North Dakota Hymn"1947 [1]
Flag of Ohio.svg
"Beautiful Ohio"Mary EarlBallard MacDonald (1969)
Wilbert McBride (1989)
1969 [1] [37]
Rock song: "Hang On Sloopy" The McCoys 1985 [1] [38]
Flag of Oklahoma.svg
Official state song: "Oklahoma" Rodgers and Hammerstein 1953 [1] [39]
Official state waltz: "Oklahoma Wind"1982 [1]
State Folk Song: "Oklahoma Hills" Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie 2001 [40] [41]
Official state children's song: "Oklahoma, My Native Land"Martha Kemm Barrett1996 [42]
Official state gospel song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Wallis Willis 2011 [43]
Flag of Oregon.svg
"Oregon, My Oregon"J.A. Buchanan and
Henry B. Murtaghin
1927 [1]
Flag of Pennsylvania.svg
"Pennsylvania"1990 [1]
Rhode Island
Flag of Rhode Island.svg
State march: "Rhode Island"1996
State song: "Rhode Island, It's for Me"1996 [1]
South Carolina
Flag of South Carolina.svg
"Carolina" Anne Curtis Burgess Henry Timrod
G.R. Goodwin (editor)
1911 [1]
"South Carolina on My Mind" Hank Martin and Buzz Arledge 1984 [1]
South Dakota
Flag of South Dakota.svg
"Hail, South Dakota!" DeeCort Hammitt 1943 [1]
Flag of Tennessee.svg
"My Homeland, Tennessee" Roy Lamont Smith Nell Grayson Taylor 1925 [44]
"When It's Iris Time in Tennessee" Willa Waid Newman 1935 [1] [44]
"My Tennessee" Frances Hannah Tranum 1955 [44]
"Tennessee Waltz" Pee Wee King Redd Stewart 1965 [1] [44]
"Rocky Top" Boudleaux Bryant /
Felice Bryant
1982 [1] [44]
"Tennessee" Vivian Rorie 1992 [44]
"The Pride of Tennessee" Fred Congdon /
Thomas Vaughn /
Carol Elliot
1996 [1] [44]
"A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996" Joan Hill Hanks 1996 [44]
"Smoky Mountain Rain" Kye Fleming
Dennis Morgan
2010 [44] [45] [46]
"Tennessee" John R. Bean 2012 [44]
Flag of Texas.svg
"Texas, Our Texas" William J. Marsh William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright1929 [47] [48]
Flag of Utah.svg
State song: "Utah…This Is The Place"Sam and Gary Francis2003 [49]
State hymn: "Utah, We Love Thee"
(State Song 1937-2003) [50]
Evan Stephens 2003 [1]
Flag of Vermont.svg
"These Green Mountains" Diane Martin (composer)
Rita Buglass Gluck (arranger)
Diane Martin1999 [1] [51]
Flag of Virginia.svg
Traditional state song: "Our Great Virginia" Jim Papoulis (arranger), based on "Oh Shenandoah" Mike Greenly 2015 [5]
Popular state song: "Sweet Virginia Breeze" Steve Bassett and Robbin Thompson 2015 [5]
Emeritus state song: "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" (retired as official song in 1998) James A. Bland [52] 1940 [1] [4]
Flag of Washington.svg
State song: "Washington, My Home" Stuart Churchill (arranger) Helen Davis 1959 [1]
State folk song: "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On"based on "Goodnight, Irene" Woody Guthrie 1987 [1] [53]
Unofficial state rock song: "Louie Louie" Richard Berry Richard Berryunofficial [54]
West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia.svg
Official state song: "The West Virginia Hills" Henry Everett Engle Ellen Ruddell King 1963 [1] [55]
Official state song: "This Is My West Virginia" Iris Bell Iris Bell1963 [1] [55]
Official state song: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" Julian G. Hearne, Jr. Julian G. Hearne, Jr.1963 [1] [55]
Official state song: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" John Denver
Bill Danoff
Taffy Nivert
2014 [56]
Flag of Wisconsin.svg
State song: "On, Wisconsin!" William T. Purdy Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard 1959 [1] [57]
State ballad: "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams" Shari A. Sarazin Erma Barrett 2001 [1] [57]
State waltz: "The Wisconsin Waltz" Eddie Hansen Eddie Hansen2001 [1] [57]
Flag of Wyoming.svg
State March: "Wyoming" George Edwin Knapp Charles E. Winter 1955 [1] [58]
State Song: "Wyoming Where I Belong"Annie & Amy SmithAnnie & Amy Smith2018[ citation needed ]


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

TerritorySongComposer(s)Lyricist(s)Year adopted
American Samoa
Flag of American Samoa.svg
"Amerika Samoa"
District of Columbia
Flag of Washington, D.C..svg
Song: "Washington" Jimmie Dodd 1951 [59]
March: "Our Nation's Capital" Anthony A. Mitchell 1961 [59]
Flag of Guam.svg
"Stand Ye Guamanians"1919
Northern Mariana Islands
Flag of the Northern Mariana Islands.svg
"Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi"1996
Puerto Rico
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg
Anthem: "La Borinqueña" Félix Astol Artés Manuel Fernández Juncos 1977
United States Virgin Islands
Flag of the United States Virgin Islands.svg
"Virgin Islands March"1963

See also

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