Texas, Our Texas

Quiz time!!

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.

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Refrain:    

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!

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For those who love to smile as they read, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer offers warmhearted historical romance with a flair for humor, feisty heroines, and swoon-worthy Texas heroes. Karen is a firm believer in the power of happy endings. . . and ice cream. She is an avid cross-stitcher, and makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children. Learn more about Karen and her books at: www.karenwitemeyer.com.

24 thoughts on “Texas, Our Texas”

  1. Oh yes, I do know my home state song. Alabama Alabama, we will ay be true to thee… We also sang it in school growing up but that has been oh so many years ago. My children also learned it in school but it wasn’t sung on a regular basis. Living in the state that I do now, I have no idea what the state song is. I’ve never heard it nor have I seen it refered to. Such a shame. Youve prompted me to seek it out today.

  2. Excellent, Kat! You get a gold star for outstanding performance on today’s quiz. 🙂 I’m glad to know that Alabamians have strong state pride, too. Maybe it’s a southern thing? You’ll have to let me know what you discover about your current state song. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Beautiful Nebraska as you look around
    You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground
    All these wonders by the Master’s Hand
    Beautiful Nebraskaland

    (I’m all tingly and weeping, it’s a beautiful song!)

    sniffle

  4. Beautiful Nebraska
    words by Jim Fras and Guy Gage Miller and music by Jim Fras

    Beautiful Nebraska, peaceful prairie land.
    Laced with many rivers and the hills of sand:
    Dark green valleys cradled in the earth,
    Rain and sunshine bring abundant birth.

    CHORUS:
    Beautiful Nebraska, as you look around,
    You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground:
    All these wonders by the Master’s hand:
    Beautiful Nebraska land.

    We are so proud of this state where we live.
    There is no place that has so much to give.

    CHORUS:
    Beautiful Nebraska, as you look around,
    You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground:
    All these wonders by the Master’s hand.
    Beautiful Nebraska land.

  5. Great post Karen. Of course, being a native Texan, I know the song. Isn’t it wonderful? Thanks for showing off one of the special things about being a Texan. Hugs, Phyliss

  6. I am originally from New York, and don’t think I ever heard the state song. It is short and doesn’t say much about the state at all. We now live in Tennessee and Rocky Top is the state song. Needless to say, it is much more recognized and sung as a popular song, not just a state song.

  7. How about that…? And I always thought it was “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” 🙂

    The Utah state song (Land of the Mountains High, Utah we love thee…) Is pretty much a drag to sing, with a slow tempo and a melody that goes off the upper scale. I heard it in church growing up but it’s rarely sung these days. Maybe we need something with a little more pep.

    Thanks for a fun blog, Karen.

  8. “When the snow crowned Golden Sierras
    Keep their watch o’er the valleys bloom.
    It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
    Ev’ry breeze bearing rich perfume,
    It is here nature gives of her rarest,
    It is Home Sweet Home to me.
    And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
    For my sunny California.”

    I LOVE YOU, CALIFORNIA — not only the title of California’s official state song, but a personal sentiment from this 4th-generation California Girl!

    Now, for the UNofficial song…

    “I wish they all could be California girls…” 😉

  9. Mary – Here’s a hanky, darlin’. Such a sweet ode to Nebraska. Somehow I knew you would know your state song. And the words are truly lovely. That’s one to be proud of.

  10. Hi, Patricia. Many states have more than one “official” state song. I heard the Tennessee Waltz might be a state song, too, but I love Rocky Top. I’m glad it’s the state song. So fun!

  11. Hi, Elizabeth. I love all the mountain references in your song. But then, I love the mountains. It’s the one thing Texas can’t really boast. Hills, maybe, but no real mountains.

  12. Hi, Amy! I was a California gal, too. Not sure how I grew up not knowing the song. It is a great one. Of course, it’s hard to beat the Beach Boys’ California Girls. That might have to be the “unofficial” state song. So iconic!

  13. In Tennesse we have several State Songs,the 2 most popular are “The Tennessee Waltz” an “Rocky Top”

  14. Hi Karen – I don’t know my state’s song! I guess I never really thought about it. My in-laws are Texans and I’ve never seen a prouder bunch. Texans love Texas, that’s all I can say! Most know everything about their state. 🙂

  15. So true, Charlene. It didn’t take me long to learn the meaning of Texas pride. And now that I’ve lived here over 20 years, I have to admit that some of it has rubbed off on this former California girl. Especially since my kids are all Texas born and bred. 🙂

  16. Well, I knew the chorus. I had to look up the verse. Only one verse? What’s up with that?
    I’ll go write a second and third one and contact the governor asap.

  17. Karen, thanks for posting this. I never knew the words to our state song but always wondered. Looks like as long as I’ve lived here I’d know it. I think the song I’m most familiar with is “Back Home in Indiana” usually sung by Jim Nabors. He has the most stirring voice. Simply unforgettable. I guess that’s why it left a big impression on someone who was born in New Mexico. LOL

  18. Sorry I had to look it up because I didn’t know the words, shame on me.

    My Old Kentucky Home
    Words and Music by: Stephen C. Foster
    The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home
    ‘Tis summer, the people are gay;
    The corn top’s ripe and the meadow’s in the bloom,
    While the birds make music all the day;
    The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
    All merry, all happy, and bright,
    By’n by hard times comes a-knocking at the door,
    Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

    Chorus

    Weep no more, my lady,
    Oh weep no more today!
    We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
    For the old Kentucky home far away.

    They hunt no more for the ‘possum and the coon,
    On meadow, the hill and the shore,
    They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
    On the bench by that old cabin door;
    The day goes by like a shadow o’er the heart,
    With sorrow where all was delight;
    The time has come when the people have to part,
    Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

    Chorus

    The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
    Wherever the people may go;
    A few more days and the trouble all will end
    In the field where sugar-canes may grow;
    A few more days for to tote the weary load,
    No matter, ’twill never be light,
    A few more days till we totter on the road,
    Then my old Kentucky home, good night!

    Chorus

  19. This was really interesting Karen. I loved it. I sure didn’t know the words for our state. Don’t guess we sang it in school. The ones I knew best was Yellow Rose of Texas and Dixie. I knew the Old Kentucky song tho. Sang it many times. It was a popular song ost places I think. I’m sharing this video. Hope that’s okay.

    Maxie Anderson

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