Wow, what a crazy excursion: researching the state songs around the US! Here are some things I learned – and some of my faves.
- Some state songs grew up organically by the state choosing what was already popular at the time. Other states held contests.
- Some composers kept their copyrights, which limits the use of songs being sung in public (except in schools or churches), due to the royalties that must be paid. Other composers waived their copyrights. Many of the states adopted state songs only in the last few decades.
- I found it interesting how many state songs were difficult to find online. In many cases, the sheet music on my blog is the only free example available online…at least that I could find…
- Most official state songs: Tennessee (8)
- No official state song: New Jersey, with the “Unofficial Youth Album” being Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run.
- The mention of slaves:
- Songs to the tune of O Tannenbaum:
- Disco state song: New York
- Tango state song: New Mexico
- Most difficult songs to notate:
- Same composer, Stephen Foster: Kentucky and Florida
- Song from a musical: Oklahoma
- Folk songs:
My own opinions:
- I found I prefer state songs that are easy to sing a cappella. I like the songs that are like anthems, or hymn-like. To me, they sound more “stately,” such as:
- Songs that need to have an accompaniment to make them sound complete:
- Catchy “sticky” tunes