"Arkansas", written by Eva Ware Barnett in 1916, is one of the official state songs of Arkansas. It was first adopted as the state song in the early 20th century, but was removed in 1949 due to a copyright dispute. After the state settled the dispute by buying all claims to its copyright, it was restored as state song in 1963.
In 1987, the General Assembly elevated the song to "state anthem" in order to designate "Arkansas (You Run Deep In Me)" and "Oh, Arkansas", both written for the state's 150th birthday in 1986, as state songs; it also designated "The Arkansas Traveler", the state song from 1949 to 1963, as "state historical song".
Another 1987 law requires the Secretary of State to respond to all requests for copies of the "state song" with this song. However, this was done only to preserve the historical status of this song; all four songs are either copyrighted by the state itself or in the public domain. Today, the Secretary of State posts the lyrics to all four songs on its website.
I am thinking tonight of the Southland,
Of the home of my childhood days,
Where I roamed through the woods and the meadows
By the mill and the brook that plays;
Where the roses are in bloom
And the sweet magnolia too,
Where the jasmine is white
And the fields are violet blue,
There a welcome awaits all her children
Who have wandered afar from home.
Arkansas, Arkansas, tis a name dear,
'Tis the place I call "home, sweet home";
Arkansas, Arkansas, I salute thee,
From thy shelter no more I'll roam.
'Tis a land full of joy and of sunshine,
Rich in pearls and in diamonds rare,
Full of hope, faith, and love for the stranger,
Who may pass 'neath her portals fair;
There the rice fields are full,
And the cotton, corn and hay,
There the fruits of the field
Bloom in the winter months and May,
'Tis the land that I love, first of all, dear,
And to her let us all give cheer.
- Lyrics to "Arkansas", from Arkansas Secretary of State's website
- Arkansas Code Section 1-4-116 (State songs and anthem)
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