Deep in the Heart of Texas

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"Deep in the Heart of Texas"
Song by Perry Como with Ted Weems and His Orchestra
Released 1942
A-side Ollie Ollie Out's In Free
Recorded December 1941, Los Angeles
Genre Country & Western
Label Decca Records
Writer June Hershey
Composer Don Swander
Language English
ISWC T-070.881.724-6

"Deep in the Heart of Texas" is an American popular song elaborating on the merits of the U.S. state of Texas.

The 1941 song features lyrics by June Hershey and music by Don Swander. The song was recorded by Perry Como with Ted Weems and His Orchestra on December 9 of that year for Decca Records in Los Angeles, California. It was a single release (4138 A) on the flip side of the song "Ollie Ollie Out's In Free." "Deep in the Heart of Texas" spent five weeks at the top of Your Hit Parade in 1942. The song spent twelve weeks in total on the 1942 Hit Parade.[1]

Other recordings[edit]

Other usage[edit]

The song's title was borrowed for the name of a 1942 Western film starring Johnny Mack Brown as a man instrumental in restoring Texas to the United States following the American Civil War. It featured Tex Ritter and the Jimmy Wakely Trio singing the title song. Gene Autry sang the song in Heart of the Rio Grande (1942) and his version may be the most well known.[citation needed]

The first recording was by Alvino Rey on November 21 for Bluebird. Bing Crosby with Woody Herman's band recorded a version[4] that reached #3 on the Billboard charts that year.[citation needed] Other artists to record the song include The Merry Macs,[5] Dale Evans and Roy Rogers, Ray Charles, Hank Thompson, Bob Grant, George Strait, and Nickel Creek.

The University of Texas Longhorn Band performs the song during each football pregame at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium;[citation needed] The Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band often performs the tune for home football games and the Texas Christian University Horned Frog Marching Band performs an arrangement before each game at Amon Carter Stadium.[citation needed] Fans sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", followed by "Deep In the Heart of Texas" during the seventh-inning stretch of Houston Astros,[6] Rice Owls, and Houston Cougars baseball games, and in the middle of the fifth inning at Rangers Ballpark.[citation needed]

In 1942, the BBC banned the song during working hours on the grounds that its infectious melody might cause wartime factory-hands to neglect their tools while they clapped in time with the song.[7]


The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas
The prairie sky is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas[4][8]

The sage in bloom is like perfume
Deep in the heart of Texas
Reminds me of the one that I love
Deep in the heart of Texas

The coyotes wail along the trail
Deep in the heart of Texas
The rabbits rush around the brush
Deep in the heart of Texas

The cowboys cry, "Ki yippee yi!"
Deep in the heart of Texas
The dogies bawl and bawl and bawl
Deep in the heart of Texas

The stars at night are big and bright
Deep in the heart of Texas
The prairie sky is wide and high
Deep in the heart of Texas

In popular culture[edit]

  • This song is used in the movie Twelve O'Clock High (1949)[9] and is frequently played on the record player in the Officers Club on the television series 12 O'Clock High (1964–67)[10] with the patrons singing and clapping or slapping the table in time to the song.
  • The 1976 song, "Take the Money and Run" by the Steve Miller Band utilizes hand-clapping similar to the ones in "Deep In The Heart Of Texas".
  • In the 1979 film 1941, Wild Bill Kelso (played by John Belushi) casually hums this song as he flies through the air in his plane.
  • In the 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Pee-wee Herman travels to the Alamo in search of his stolen bicycle. He calls a friend using a public phone to inform her of his location, but his friend is in disbelief. To prove that he is in Texas, Pee-wee Herman sings the first line of the song, and the entire crowd of Texans around him clap and sing Deep in the heart of Texas! in response.
  • The 1996 film Nuremberg features the song being sung during a mess party to celebrate the surrender of Hermann Goering, with the Reichsmarschall singing along with the rendition.
  • In the 2000 SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Texas" (season 1, episode 18a), SpongeBob parodies a line of the lyrics: "The stars at night are dull and dim, whenever they have to be over dumb old stupid Texas!"[11]
  • In the 2003 film Head of State, alderman Mays Gilliam (Chris Rock) sang a part of this song at a campaign event in Texas.[12][13]
  • In 2006, The West Wing, Season 7, "Election Day Part 2" Santos had won his state and his people were singing and dancing this song.
  • In the 2009 film Whip It, Ellen Page and Landon Pigg sang a part of this song.
  • Jim Parsons, as his character Sheldon Cooper (who is born and raised in Texas), sang a part of this song in the 2011 The Big Bang Theory episode, The Bus Pants Utilization.
  • The song is quoted by Adrian Ivashkov in Richelle Mead's book The Fiery Heart
  • The beginning of the song "Texas Blood Money" (from the album Red. White. Green.) by the Texas-native deathcore band Upon a Burning Body references the lyrics.
  • In the 17th episode of the first season of Clarence, Nature Clarence, Clarence sings this song to Joshua's annoyance .

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Smith, Kathleen E.R. God Bless America: Tin Pan Alley Goes to War. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 25. ISBN 0-8131-2256-2. 
  2. ^ Orodenker, M.H. (February 28, 1942). "On the Records". Billboard. p. 25. 
  3. ^ Orodenker, M.H. (March 7, 1942). "On the Records". Billboard. p. 21. 
  4. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.  Tape 2, side B.
  5. ^ Orodenker, M.H. (February 7, 1942). "On the Records" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Pentis, Andrew. "Stadium Songs-Houston Astros". Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  7. ^ French, Philip (August 9, 2008). "The golden age of BBC censorship; Ex-radio producer Philip French recalls Auntie's strangest strictures". The Guardian. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  8. ^ Moser, Margaret (November 28, 2003). "Texas, the State that Inspires Big Songs". The Austin Chronicle. 
  9. ^ Internet Movie Database, retrieved March 22, 2014 
  10. ^ E. g., it can be heard in the episode "Those Who Are About To Die," but there is no soundtrack reference at Internet Movie Database for the television series. 
  11. ^ "Texas/Walking Small (TV episode 2000) - Quotes - IMDb". 
  12. ^ "Head Of State Script - transcript from the screenplay and/or Chris Rock and Bernie Mac movie". 
  13. ^ "Head of State (2003)". IMDb. 

External links[edit]