Do you know your state song? I grew up in California my entire pre-adult life and never knew the state song. Now, if you live in New Jersey, you get a pass on this because NJ is the only state to not have an official state song, but everyone else is on the hook.
So . . . How’d you do? Humming any tunes? Well, if you live in Texas, there is a good chance you know your state song, or could at least recognize it. Texas pride runs deep, and we breed it into our young’uns from an early age. Not only do we have them recite the Pledge of Alligience in school, they must also recite the Texas Pledge (see image at right). And the state song? Well, kids have been singing that song in Texas schools since it was formerly adopted in 1929. In fact, even if you don’t live in Texas, there’s a good chance you’ve heard our song.
Texas, our Texas!
Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty State!
Texas, our Texas! So wonderful so great!
Boldest and grandest, Withstanding ev’ry test;
O Empire wide and glorious, You stand supremely blest.
God bless you Texas! And keep you brave and strong,
That you may grow in power and worth, Thro’out the ages long.
There are two more verses alluding to the Lone Star, freedom, San Jacinto, and the Alamo, but I figured the first verse summed up our Texas pride pretty well all on it’s own.
In the search for an official state song for Texas, many popular songs were considered, including “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Dixie.” Eventually, the consensus was that it would be best to have a new song written. So a state-wide contest was sponsored, generating a top song from each state Senatorial District. District. Winners were chosen and met in a final competition in Dallas.
“Texas, Our Texas,” composed in 1924 with music by William J. Marsh and words by Mr. Marsh and Gladys Yoakum Wright, won the grand prize.
William Marsh was born in 1880 in Liverpool, England but moved to Texas in 1904. He was a professor of music at Texas Christian University and president of the Texas Composers’ Guild. Accounts record that John Philip Sousa described this as the finest state song he had ever heard. Quite a recommendation, if I do say so.
Texas did have to give up one claim with this song, however. The third line, which reads “Boldest and grandest” originally read “Largest and grandest.” Unfortunately, when Alaska received statehood in 1959, we could no longer claim to be the largest state. But, we can all loudly shout that we are the boldest! (Who could doubt that, right?)
Anyway – all that self-agrandizing aside, you might enjoy the short video below. The song is sung with more pomp then pop, but the scenary is glorious and shows off this state I’ve come to call home in all it’s glory. Enjoy!