Old New Hampshire

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"Old New Hampshire" is the original and official state song of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. The words were written by Dr. John F. Holmes and music composed by Maurice Hoffmann in 1926. In "Old New Hampshire" was chosen to be the "official" state song first in 1949, then again in November 1977, by the State Song Selection Board. New Hampshire has eight "honorary" state songs, and no other official songs.

History[edit]

In 1926, Dr. John F. Holmes of Manchester wrote the song's lyrics. Maurice Hoffman, Jr., the Franklin Street Congregational Church organist of Manchester, wrote the music. The 1941 General Court voted against making it the state song, and the 1943 General Court killed a bill public contest with cash prizes, to pick a state song. In 1949, the General Court voted in favor of designating "Old New Hampshire" as the state song.

In 1963, the legislature approved "New Hampshire, My New Hampshire", by Julius Richelson and Walter P. Smith of Plymouth, as the "Second State Song". The "Third State Song", designated by the legislature in 1973, was "New Hampshire Hills", with music by Tom Powers of Detroit, Michigan, son of retired Director Edward Powers of the State Sweepstakes Commission, and the late Paul Scott Mowrer, state poet laureate.

In March 1977, "Autumn in New Hampshire," by Leo Austin of Warner, was added as the "Fourth State Song". The addition of this song coincided with the creation of an interim board to recommend one "official" state song and designate the remainder of songs as "honorary".

In June 1977, another song law was enacted by the General Court which added four more songs to the listing of state songs, with a stipulation that if none were chosen by the Board as the official state song, they would become "honorary" state songs. The four songs were: "New Hampshire's Granite State" by Annie B. Currier of Londonderry; "Oh, New Hampshire (You're My Home)" by Brownie Macintosh of Hampton; "The Old Man of the Mountain" by Paul Belanger of Berlin, and "The New Hampshire State March" by Rene Richards of Nashua.

The State Song Selection Board consisted of Rep. Richardson D. Benton of Chester, who was the Board's coordinator; William E. Elwell of Portsmouth, who became chairman, Ted Hebert and Robert F. Thibeault of Manchester, who were all named by the Governor of New Hampshire and Council; Senator Robert F. Bossie of Manchester, named by the Senate President; and Rep. Jane F. Sanders of Alton Bay, named by the House Speaker.

On November 29, 1977, the announcement of the name of the official song was made in Representatives Hall. New Hampshire First Lady Gale Thomson, wife of Governor Meldrim Thomson, Jr., drew the choice from a sealed envelope in which the name had been placed by the Board.

In 1983, "New Hampshire Naturally," with words and music by Rick and Ron Shaw, was added to the list of state songs listed in RSA 3:7.

Lyrics[edit]

With a skill that knows no measure,
From the golden store of Fate
God, in His great love and wisdom,
Made the rugged Granite State;
Made the lakes, the fields, the forests;
Made the Rivers and the rills;
Made the bubbling, crystal fountains
Of New Hampshire's Granite Hills
Refrain
Old New Hampshire, Old New Hampshire
Old New Hampshire Grand and Great
We will sing of Old New Hampshire,
Of the dear old Granite State
Builded he New Hampshire glorious
From the borders to the sea;
And with matchless charm and splendor
Blessed her for eternity.
Hers, the majesty of mountain;
Hers, the grandeur of the lake;
Hers, the truth as from the hillside
Whence her crystal waters break
Refrain

Honorary state songs[edit]

External links[edit]