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, a type of regional anthem, which are selected by each state legislature, and/or state governor, as a symbol (or emblem) of that particular U.S. state.

Contents

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.

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]

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"), 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] Additionally, Woody Guthrie wrote or co-wrote two state folk songs - Roll On, Columbia, Roll On and Oklahoma Hills - but they have separate status from the official state songs of Washington and Oklahoma, respectively. 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.

New Jersey has no official state song, while Virginia's previous state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", adopted in 1940, [1] was later rescinded in 1997 due to its racist language by the Virginia General Assembly.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]

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]

State songs

StateState songComposer(s)Lyricist(s)Year adopted
Alabama
Flag of Alabama.svg
"Alabama"Edna Gockel GussenJulia S. Tutwiler1931 [1] [7]
Alaska
Flag of Alaska.svg
"Alaska's Flag"Elinor Dusenbury Marie Drake 1955 [1] [8]
Arizona
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]
Arkansas
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]
California
Flag of California.svg
"I Love You, California" Abraham F. Frankenstein F. B. Silverwood1951 [1]
Colorado
Flag of Colorado.svg
"Where the Columbines Grow"A.J. Fynn1915 [1] [11]
"Rocky Mountain High" John Denver and Mike TaylorJohn Denver2007 [12]
Connecticut
Flag of Connecticut.svg
State song: "Yankee Doodle"1978 [1] [13]
State cantata: "The Nutmeg"2003 [1] [13]
Delaware
Flag of Delaware.svg
"Our Delaware"1925 [1]
Florida
Flag of Florida.svg
Official song: "Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)" (with revised lyrics) Stephen Foster Adapted by the Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh from the original by Stephen Foster2008 (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]
Georgia
Flag of Georgia (U.S. state).svg
"Georgia on My Mind", sung by Ray Charles Hoagy Carmichael Stuart Gorrell 1979 [1]
Hawaii
Flag of Hawaii.svg
State anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī" Henri Berger King David Kalākaua 1967 [1] [18]
Idaho
Flag of Idaho.svg
"Here We Have Idaho" Sallie Hume Douglas 1931 [1]
Illinois
Flag of Illinois.svg
"Illinois"Archibald JohnstonCharles H. Chamberlain1925 [19]
Indiana
Flag of Indiana.svg
"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" Paul Dresser 1913 [1]
Iowa
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]
Kansas
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]
Kentucky
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]
Louisiana
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]
Maine
Flag of Maine.svg
State song: State of Maine Roger Vinton SnowRoger Vinton Snow1937 [1]
State ballad: Ballad of the 20th Maine The Ghost of Paul Revere Griffin Sherry2019
Maryland
Flag of Maryland.svg
"Maryland, My Maryland"
(to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")
James Ryder Randall 1939 [1] [24]
Massachusetts
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]
Michigan
Flag of Michigan.svg
An official state song: "My Michigan"H. O'Reilly ClintGiles Kavanaugh1937 [1]
Minnesota
Flag of Minnesota.svg
"Hail! Minnesota"1945 [1]
Mississippi
Flag of Mississippi.svg
"Go, Mississippi"
(sometimes called Go Mis-sis-sip-pi)
1962 [1]
Missouri
Flag of Missouri.svg
"Missouri Waltz"melody: John V. Eppel
arranged: Frederic K. Logan
J.R. Shannon1949 [1]
Montana
Flag of Montana.svg
"Montana"1945 [1]
State ballad: "Montana Melody"1983 [1]
State lullaby: "Montana Lullaby"2007 [33]
Nebraska
Flag of Nebraska.svg
Official: "Beautiful Nebraska"Jim Fras and Guy Miller1967 [1] [34]
Nevada
Flag of Nevada.svg
"Home Means Nevada"Bertha Rafetto1933 [1]
New Hampshire
Flag of New Hampshire.svg
Official: "Old New Hampshire"1949 [1]
1977
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] [35]
New Jersey
Flag of New Jersey.svg
None [36] 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
State song: "I Love New York" Steve Karmen 1980 [37]
State hymn of remembrance: "Here Rests in Honored Glory"Donald B. Miller2018 [38] [39]
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]
Ohio
Flag of Ohio.svg
"Beautiful Ohio"Mary EarlBallard MacDonald (1969)
Wilbert McBride (1989)
1969 [1] [40]
Rock song: "Hang On Sloopy" The McCoys 1985 [1] [41]
Oklahoma
Flag of Oklahoma.svg
Official state song: "Oklahoma" Rodgers and Hammerstein 1953 [1] [42]
Official state waltz: "Oklahoma Wind"1982 [1]
State Folk Song: "Oklahoma Hills" Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie 2001 [43] [44]
Official state children's song: "Oklahoma, My Native Land"Martha Kemm Barrett1996 [45]
Official state gospel song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Wallis Willis 2011 [46]
Oregon
Flag of Oregon.svg
"Oregon, My Oregon"J.A. Buchanan and
Henry B. Murtaghin
1927 [1]
Pennsylvania
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]
Tennessee
Flag of Tennessee.svg
"My Homeland, Tennessee" Roy Lamont Smith Nell Grayson Taylor 1925 [47]
"When It's Iris Time in Tennessee" Willa Waid Newman 1935 [1] [47]
"My Tennessee" Frances Hannah Tranum 1955 [47]
"Tennessee Waltz" Pee Wee King Redd Stewart 1965 [1] [47]
"Rocky Top" Boudleaux Bryant /
Felice Bryant
1982 [1] [47]
"Tennessee" Vivian Rorie 1992 [47]
"The Pride of Tennessee" Fred Congdon /
Thomas Vaughn /
Carol Elliot
1996 [1] [47]
"A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996" Joan Hill Hanks 1996 [47]
"Smoky Mountain Rain" Kye Fleming
Dennis Morgan
2010 [47] [48] [49]
"Tennessee" John R. Bean 2012 [47]
Texas
Flag of Texas.svg
"Texas, Our Texas" William J. Marsh William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright1929 [50] [51]
Utah
Flag of Utah.svg
State song: "Utah…This Is The Place"Sam and Gary Francis2003 [52]
State hymn: "Utah, We Love Thee"
(state song from 1937 to 2003) [53]
Evan Stephens 2003 [1]
Vermont
Flag of Vermont.svg
"These Green Mountains" Diane Martin (composer)
Rita Buglass Gluck (arranger)
Diane Martin1999 [1] [54]
Virginia
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 [55] 1940 [1] [4]
Washington
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] [56]
Unofficial state rock song: "Louie Louie" Richard Berry Richard Berryunofficial [57]
West Virginia
Flag of West Virginia.svg
Official state song: "The West Virginia Hills" Henry Everett Engle Ellen Ruddell King 1963 [1] [58]
Official state song: "This Is My West Virginia" Iris Bell Iris Bell1963 [1] [58]
Official state song: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" Julian G. Hearne, Jr. Julian G. Hearne, Jr.1963 [1] [58]
Official state song: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" John Denver
Bill Danoff
Taffy Nivert
2014 [59]
Wisconsin
Flag of Wisconsin.svg
State song: "On, Wisconsin!" William T. Purdy Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard 1959 [1] [60]
State ballad: "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams" Shari A. Sarazin Erma Barrett 2001 [1] [60]
State waltz: "The Wisconsin Waltz" Eddie Hansen Eddie Hansen2001 [1] [60]
Wyoming
Flag of Wyoming.svg
State march: "Wyoming" George Edwin Knapp Charles E. Winter 1955 [1] [61]
State song: "Wyoming Where I Belong"Annie & Amy SmithAnnie & Amy Smith2018[ citation needed ]

Territories

Some U.S. 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 [62]
March: "Our Nation's Capital" Anthony A. Mitchell 1961 [62]
Guam
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

Related Research Articles

An anthem is a musical composition of celebration, usually used as a symbol for a distinct group, particularly the national anthems of countries. Originally, and in music theory and religious contexts, it also refers more particularly to short sacred choral work and still more particularly to a specific form of Anglican church music.

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Take Me Home, Country Roads 1971 single by John Denver

"Take Me Home, Country Roads", also known simply as "Take Me Home" or "Country Roads", is a song written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver about West Virginia. It was released as a single performed by Denver on April 12, 1971, peaking at number two on Billboard's US Hot 100 singles for the week ending August 28, 1971. The song was a success on its initial release and was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 18, 1971, and Platinum on April 10, 2017. The song became one of John Denver's most popular and beloved songs. It has continued to sell, with over 1.6 million digital copies sold in the United States. It is considered to be Denver's signature song.

Tri-state area is an informal term in the eastern contiguous United States for any of several regions associated with a particular town or metropolis that, with adjacent suburbs, lies across three states. Some of these involve a state boundary tripoint. Other tri-state areas have a more diffuse population that shares a connected economy and geography — especially with respect to geology, botany, or climate — such as the tri-state area of eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and northern Delaware. The term "tri-state area" is often present in movies, radio and television commercials.

Rocky Mountain High 1972 single by John Denver

"Rocky Mountain High" is a folk rock song written by John Denver and Mike Taylor about Colorado and is one of the two official state songs of Colorado. Recorded by Denver in 1972, it went to No. 9 on the US Hot 100 in 1973. Denver told concert audiences in the mid-1970s that the song took him an unusually long nine months to write. On April 10, 2017, the song was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of 500,000 digital downloads.

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