Oregon, My Oregon

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Oregon, My Oregon
Oregon, My Oregon.jpg

Regional anthem of  Oregon

"Oregon, My Oregon" is the regional anthem of the U.S. state of Oregon. Written for a song contest in 1920, the 16-line, 2-verse song became the state's official state song in 1927.


In 1920, the Society of Oregon Composers held a competition to select a state song for Oregon.[1][2] The winning entry, "Oregon, My Oregon," was a collaboration between John Andrew Buchanan, who wrote the lyrics, and Henry Bernard Murtagh, who composed the music.[2] Buchanan was an amateur lyricist who was an Astoria city judge,[2] while Murtagh was a professional musician with a Broadway credit,[3] but who was best known as a professionally trained theatre organist on the West Coast during the silent movie era.[2][4][5][6][7]

Following the song's selection, the Society promoted the song by conducting performances at public gathering spaces around the state and at schools and universities (the state Superintendent of Public Instruction had endorsed the song).[2]

On February 12, 1927, the song was officially adopted as the state song by a joint resolution of the Oregon State Legislature.[8]

In 2009, legislator Gene Whisnant proposed choosing a new official state song.[9][10] In 2017, a bill proposed in the Oregon Legislative Assembly sought to update the song's lyrics, "to reflect cultural, historical, economic and societal evolution" of the state.[11]


Buchanan's lyrics contain two main themes: honoring the early settlers and pioneers of Oregon, and praise for the natural beauty of the state. Murtagh composed the song as a march in F major. Unlike two other similarly named state songs—"Maryland, My Maryland" and "Michigan, My Michigan"—"Oregon, My Oregon" is not set to the tune of "O Tannenbaum."


Land of the Empire Builders,
Land of the Golden West;
Conquered and held by free men,
Fairest and the best.
Onward and upward ever,
Forward and on, and on;
Hail to thee, Land of Heroes,
My Oregon.
Land of the rose and sunshine
Land of the summer's breeze;
Laden with health and vigor,
Fresh from the Western seas.
Blest by the blood of martyrs,
Land of the setting sun;
Hail to thee, Land of Promise,
My Oregon.


  1. ^ "Oregon Almanac:State Song". Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Sheet Music Cover, Oregon, My Oregon". Oregon History Project. Oregon Historical Society. Retrieved 2016-06-17.
  3. ^ "Henry B. Murtagh". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  4. ^ "Liberty Theatre, Portland, Oregon". Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  5. ^ "Liberty Theatre, Seattle". Puget Sound Theatre Organ Society. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  6. ^ Buhrman, T. Scott (1927). New York and the Cinema. the Complete Organ Recitalist. Herbert Westerby, London. pp. 347–354.
  7. ^ "Oregon State Song". national-anthems.org. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  8. ^ "Oregon State Song". NetState.com. Retrieved 2007-09-10.
  9. ^ Steves, David (May 7, 2009). "Oregon unlikely to be singing a new song anytime soon | Main News | Eugene, Oregon". The Register-Guard. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  10. ^ "State Song Idea Off-Key: Let's Stick with 'Oregon, My Oregon' (editorial)". The Register-Guard. May 10, 2009. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  11. ^ "HCR20, 2017 Regular Session". Oregon Legislative Assembly. Retrieved 2019-02-07.

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