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.

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state song, while Virginia's previous state song, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", adopted in 1940,[1] was later rescinded in 1997 due to language deemed racist by the Virginia General Assembly.[4] In 2015, "Our Great Virginia" was made the new state song of Virginia.[5]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[edit]

State State song Composer(s) Lyricist(s) Year adopted
 Alabama "Alabama" Edna Gockel Gussen Julia S. Tutwiler 1931[1][7]
 Alaska "Alaska's Flag" Elinor Dusenbury Marie Drake 1955[1][8]
 Arizona State song: "Arizona" Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr. Rex Allen and Rex Allen, Jr. 1981[1][9]
State anthem: "Arizona March Song" Maurice Blumenthal Margaret Rowe Clifford 1919[1][9]
 Arkansas State anthem: "Arkansas" Eva Ware Barnett Eva Ware Barnett 1917/1987[1][10]
"Arkansas (You Run Deep in Me)" Wayland Holyfield Wayland Holyfield 1987[1][10]
"Oh, Arkansas" Terry Rose and Gary Klaff Terry Rose and Gary Klaff 1987[1][10]
State historical song: "The Arkansas Traveler" Sanford Faulkner (Official lyrics by committee, 1947) 1949/1987[1][10]
 California "I Love You, California" Abraham F. Frankenstein F. B. Silverwood 1951[1]
 Colorado "Where the Columbines Grow" A.J. Fynn 1915[1][11][12]
"Rocky Mountain High" John Denver and Mike Taylor John Denver 2007[11][13]
 Connecticut State song: "Yankee Doodle" 1978[1][14]
State cantata: "The Nutmeg" 2003[1][14]
 Delaware "Our Delaware" Will M. S. Brown George Beswick Hynson 1925[1]
 Florida Official song: "Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)" (with revised lyrics) Stephen Foster Original: Stephen Foster

Adapted: Stephen Foster Memorial at the University of Pittsburgh

2008 (revised lyrics)[15]
1935 (original lyrics)[1]
Official poem: "I Am Florida" Walter "Clyde" Orange Allen Autry Sr. 2013[16][17]
State anthem: "Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)" Jan Hinton 2008[18]
 Georgia "Georgia on My Mind", sung by Ray Charles Hoagy Carmichael Stuart Gorrell 1979[1]
 Hawaii State anthem: "Hawaiʻi Ponoʻī" Henri Berger King David Kalākaua 1967[1][19]
 Idaho "Here We Have Idaho" Sallie Hume Douglas McKinley Helm and Albert J. Tompkins 1931[1]
 Illinois "Illinois" Archibald Johnston Charles H. Chamberlain 1925[20]
 Indiana "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" Paul Dresser 1913[1]
 Iowa "The Song of Iowa" Melchior Franck S. H. M. Byers 1911[1]
Official Companion State Song: "Make Me a World in Iowa" Effie Burt 2002[1][21]
 Kansas "Home on the Range" Daniel E. Kelley Brewster M. Higley 1947[1]
Official state march: "The Kansas March" 1935[1]
Official march: "Here's Kansas" 1992[1]
 Kentucky State song: "My Old Kentucky Home" Stephen Foster 1928[1]
Bluegrass song: "Blue Moon of Kentucky" Bill Monroe 1988[1][22]
 Louisiana "Give Me Louisiana" Doralice Fontane[23] 1970[1]
"You Are My Sunshine" Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell 1977[1]
State march: "Louisiana My Home Sweet Home" 1952[1]
Environmental song: "The Gifts of Earth"[24]
 Maine State song: State of Maine Roger Vinton Snow Roger Vinton Snow 1937[1]
State ballad: Ballad of the 20th Maine The Ghost of Paul Revere Griffin Sherry 2019
 Maryland "Maryland, My Maryland"
(to the tune of "O Tannenbaum")
Melchior Franck James Ryder Randall 1939[1][25]
 Massachusetts State anthem: "All Hail to Massachusetts" Arthur J. Marsh 1981[1][26]
State folk song: "Massachusetts" Arlo Guthrie 1981[1][27]
State ceremonial march: "The Road to Boston" unknown 1985[1][28]
State patriotic song: "Massachusetts (Because of You Our Land is Free)" Bernard Davidson 1989[1][29]
State glee club song: "The Great State of Massachusetts" J. Earl Bley George A. Wells 1997[1][30]
State polka: "Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts" Lenny Gomulka[31] 1998[32]
State ode: "Ode to Massachusetts" Joseph Falzone 2000[1][33]
 Michigan An official state song: "My Michigan" H. O'Reilly Clint Giles Kavanaugh 1937[1]
 Minnesota "Hail! Minnesota" Truman Rickard Cyrus Northrop 1945[1]
 Mississippi "Go, Mississippi"
(sometimes called Go Mis-sis-sip-pi)
William Houston Davis 1962[1]
 Missouri "Missouri Waltz" melody: John V. Eppel
arranged: Frederic K. Logan
J.R. Shannon 1949[1]
 Montana "Montana" Joseph E. Howard Charles Cohan 1945[1]
State ballad: "Montana Melody" 1983[1]
State lullaby: "Montana Lullaby" 2007[34]
 Nebraska Official: "Beautiful Nebraska" Jim Fras Jim Fras and Guy Miller 1967[1][35]
 Nevada "Home Means Nevada" Bertha Rafetto 1933[1]
 New Hampshire Official: "Old New Hampshire" Maurice Hoffman John F. Holmes 1949[1]
1977
Official: "Live Free or Die" Barry Palmer 2007
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][36]
 New Jersey None[37] N/A N/A
 New Mexico 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" Michael Martin Murphey, Don Cook, and Chick Rains 1989[1]
Bilingual song: "New Mexico – Mi Lindo Nuevo México" Pablo Mares 1995[1]
State cowboy song: "Under New Mexico Skies" Syd Masters 2009
 New York State song: "I Love New York" Steve Karmen 1980[38]
State hymn of remembrance: "Here Rests in Honored Glory" Donald B. Miller 2018[39][40]
 North Carolina "The Old North State" E.E. Randolph William Gaston 1927[1]
 North Dakota "North Dakota Hymn" C. S. Putman James Folely 1947[1]
 Ohio "Beautiful Ohio" Mary Earl Ballard MacDonald (1969)
Wilbert McBride (1989)
1969[1][41]
Rock song: "Hang On Sloopy" Wes Farrell and Bert Berns 1985[1][42]
 Oklahoma Official state song: "Oklahoma" Richard Rodgers Oscar Hammerstein II 1953[1][43]
Official state waltz: "Oklahoma Wind" 1982[1]
State Folk Song: "Oklahoma Hills" Woody Guthrie and Jack Guthrie 2001[44][45]
Official state children's song: "Oklahoma, My Native Land" Martha Kemm Barrett 1996[46]
Official state gospel song: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" Wallis Willis 2011[47]
 Oregon "Oregon, My Oregon" Henry Bernard Murtaghin John Andrew Buchanan 1927[1]
 Pennsylvania "Pennsylvania" 1990[1]
 Rhode Island State march: "Rhode Island" 1996
State song: "Rhode Island, It's for Me" 1996[1]
 South Carolina "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 "Hail, South Dakota!" DeeCort Hammitt 1943[1]
 Tennessee "My Homeland, Tennessee" Roy Lamont Smith Nell Grayson Taylor 1925[48]
"When It's Iris Time in Tennessee" Willa Waid Newman 1935[1][48]
"My Tennessee" Frances Hannah Tranum 1955[48]
"Tennessee Waltz" Pee Wee King Redd Stewart 1965[1][48]
"Rocky Top" Felice and Boudleaux Bryant 1982[1][48]
"Tennessee" Vivian Rorie 1992[48]
"The Pride of Tennessee" Fred Congdon /
Thomas Vaughn /
Carol Elliot
1996[1][48]
"A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996" Joan Hill Hanks 1996[48]
"Smoky Mountain Rain" Kye Fleming
Dennis Morgan
2010[48][49][50]
"Tennessee" John R. Bean 2012[48]
 Texas "Texas, Our Texas" William J. Marsh William J. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright 1929[51][52]
 Utah State song: "Utah…This Is The Place" Sam and Gary Francis 2003[53]
State hymn: "Utah, We Love Thee"
(state song from 1937 to 2003)[54]
Evan Stephens 2003[1]
 Vermont "These Green Mountains" Diane Martin (composer)
Rita Buglass Gluck (arranger)
Diane Martin 1999[1][55]
 Virginia 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[56] 1940[1][4]
 Washington 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][57]
Unofficial state rock song: "Louie Louie" Richard Berry Richard Berry unofficial[58]
 West Virginia Official state song: "The West Virginia Hills" Henry Everett Engle Ellen Ruddell King 1963[1][59]
Official state song: "This Is My West Virginia" Iris Bell Iris Bell 1963[1][59]
Official state song: "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" Julian G. Hearne, Jr. Julian G. Hearne, Jr. 1963[1][59]
Official state song: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" John Denver, Bill Danoff, and Taffy Nivert 2014[60]
 Wisconsin State song: "On, Wisconsin!" William T. Purdy Charles D. Rosa and J. S. Hubbard 1959[1][61]
State ballad: "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams" Shari A. Sarazin Erma Barrett 2001[1][61]
State waltz: "The Wisconsin Waltz" Eddie Hansen Eddie Hansen 2001[1][61]
 Wyoming State march: "Wyoming" George Edwin Knapp Charles E. Winter 1955[1][62]
State song: "Wyoming Where I Belong" Annie & Amy Smith Annie & Amy Smith 2018[citation needed]

Territories[edit]

Along with Washington, D.C. (a federal district), some U.S. overseas territories, although not U.S. states, have songs and marches of their own.

Territory Song Composer(s) Lyricist(s) Year adopted
 American Samoa "Amerika Samoa" Napoleon Andrew Tuiteleleapaga Mariota Tiumalu Tuiasosopo 1950
 Washington, D.C. Song: "Washington" Jimmie Dodd 1951[63]
March: "Our Nation's Capital" Anthony A. Mitchell 1961[63]
 Guam "Stand Ye Guamanians" Ramon Manalisay Sablan Ramon Manalisay Sablan

Lagrimas Untalan (translation)

1919
 Northern Mariana Islands "Gi Talo Gi Halom Tasi" Wilhelm Ganzhorn David Kapileo Taulamwaar Peter

Jose and Joaqin Pangelinan

1996
 Puerto Rico Anthem: "La Borinqueña" Félix Astol Artés Manuel Fernández Juncos 1977
 United States Virgin Islands "Virgin Islands March" Sam Williams and Alton Adams 1963

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  5. ^ a b c "Listen: Virginia Now Has 2 State Songs". 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-02.
  6. ^ "Maryland, my meh song", The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, 15 March 2016. Retrieved on 05 June 2017.
  7. ^ Act 31-126, Acts of Alabama, "STATE SONG: Alabama". Official Symbols and Emblems of Alabama. Alabama Department of Archives & History. 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  8. ^ "Official State Song". Alaska Information. State of Alaska Office of Economic Development. Archived from the original on 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
  9. ^ a b "Arizona State Anthems". SOS for Kids. Arizona Secretary of State's Office. 2003. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
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  11. ^ a b "State Songs". Colorado State Archives. 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2020-05-28.
  12. ^ "Colorado State Song". Colorado State Symbols & Emblems. State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. Archived from the original on 2019-01-07. Retrieved 2007-02-21.
  13. ^ Brown, Jennifer (March 12, 2007). "Lawmakers OK 'Rocky Mountain High'". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-03-12. CRS 24-80-909
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  15. ^ [1] Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine "Summary of Bills Related to Arts, Cultural, Arts Education. Or Historical Resources That Passed the 2008 Florida Legislature May 5, 2008", Retrieved 2011-12-14
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  21. ^ "HR 126 ...recognizing Ms. Effie Burt for her composition, "I'll M..." www.legis.iowa.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
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  24. ^ Lyrics & act numbers of official songs Archived 2006-07-17 at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Maryland, My Maryland - Maryland State Song
  26. ^ "Section 19". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  27. ^ "Section 20". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
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  29. ^ "Section 31". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  30. ^ "Section 43". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
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  32. ^ "Section 44". www.mass.gov. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
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  34. ^ Montana Code Annotated 2019, Title 1, Chapter 1, Part 5, 1-1-530 State lullaby, retrieved 2019-10-27
  35. ^ NE-gov-symbols.
  36. ^ "Section 3:7 State Songs". www.gencourt.state.nh.us. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  37. ^ reynolds. "Frequently Asked Questions | NJ Facts". www.state.nj.us. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
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  41. ^ Ohio Revised Code: 1989 S 33, eff. 11-6-89; 1989 H 457
  42. ^ House Concurrent Resolution 16 on November 20, 1985.
  43. ^ "25 Okla. Stat.] § 94.1–3". state.ok.us. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  44. ^ "Oklahoma Session Laws – 2001 – Section 47 – Oklahoma State Folk Song; declaring "Oklahoma Hills" as the Oklahoma State Folk Song. Effective date". www.oscn.net. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
  45. ^ 25 Okla. Stat. § 94.8–10
  46. ^ 25 Okla. Stat. § 94.5–7
  47. ^ 25 Okla. Stat. § 94.11–13
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  50. ^ Tom Humphrey, 'Smoky Mountain Rain' Wins Race to Become 8th State Song Archived 2010-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, KnoxNews website, June 3, 2010.
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  54. ^ Utah State Hymn - "Utah We Love Thee" from pioneer.utah.gov "Pioneer: Utah's Online Library" page. Retrieved on 2008-09-08
  55. ^ "State Song". Secretary of State of Vermont. Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
  56. ^ The song was rescinded in 1998 but is still not yet replaced and still in use until for the time being.
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  58. ^ "Washington State Facts". wsdot. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
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External links[edit]