[Masthead] Fair ~ 63°F  
High: 67°F ~ Low: 52°F
Friday, Jan. 20, 2017

A 'state'ment in song

Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010, at 11:28 AM

In case you didn't know, Tennessee has seven state songs. Frankly, I'd never thought about anything other than the "Tennessee Waltz" and "Rocky Top" being the state song.

No. 8 may be on its way.

"So I'll Just Shine in Tennessee (I'm A Jackson, Tennessee Nugget") -- it applies anywhere, you insert your town's name in place of Jackson -- was written by Brenda Monroe-Moses and Mildred Lewis Atkins.

Here are the other seven nominees from the official state website.

Ever heard any of the others? "Rocky Top" comes around every football season and the "Tennessee Waltz" by Patti Page easily pops into my mind, even if I cringe when I hear her version. Check "Tennessee Waltz" on YouTube and it's amazing how many people have recorded it. I'd choose the 1959 rock version by Bobby Comstock and the Counts.

What would be your choice for a state song? With tongue planted firmly in cheek, I might pick "Rednecks, White Socks and Blue RIbbon Beer." Or maybe not. "Pop A Top" would keep the patrons of one local bar, at least, happy.

And what would be a good official song for Bedford County or Shelbyville? I guess some horse-oriented folks might think "Tennessee Stud" by Eddie Arnold. As far as something preferably more current, I'm not sure at all.

But we can have some fun with this one...

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

David, I hate to see you cringing over there in the corner, but I have to disagree about Patti Page, she had one of the most beautiful singing voices I have ever been priviliged to listen to. But then, if she had ever sung a song about plowing in a dusty field, I would probably have to put on a pair of goggles to keep the dust out of my eyes.

Do we really need a new state song? Or even all those that we have already? Is that what we pay our supposed leaders to do, to endlessly debate useless ways to spend ever more money, while delivering little more than broken promises to those that voted them into office? Well,thats my gripe-of the- day, now back to the question at hand.

If we really must have another State Song I would nominate "On Top of Old Smokey" a 1951 hit by The Weavers. If we should get tired of hearing this, as we almost surely will, we can always alternate with Tom Glazer's parody of the song called "On Top of Spaghetti." Getting two for one like this will cut down on the political debate and might result in a tax saving.

As to a song for Shelbyville, I would nominate the most talented person to ever come out of Winchester, Tn.( Sit down,Phil,it's all in your mind)That person would be Dinah Shore, and the song would be "Dear Hearts And Gentle People", a song that reached the number two spot on the charts in 1950 for both Dinah and Bing Crosby. A simple tune, really, but in it's simplicity lies it's beauty, it's ability to renew itself each day, and remain current in the hearts and minds of those who place a high value on family, friends and hometown.I believe this song fully satisfies the requirement to be current in nature.

While we're at it, we might as well select a new State Poem, don't want to have to call a special session of the legislature just for that. My favorite poem from my school days was "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert W. Service, and I submit it for possible selection by our esteemed legislators, and, by the even more highly thought of bloggers who post on this blog.

I didn't realize until about seven or eight years ago that Hank Snow had recorded a recitation of that poem. If you get a chance to listen, he does a nice job on it. There's also a good reading of it on YouTube by some dude named Urgelt.

-- Posted by ilikeoldsongs on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 2:57 PM

for shelbyville?

"they're coming to take me away"

-- Posted by lazarus on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 9:13 PM

Hello David!

Check out one of the most beautiful versions of the Tennessee Waltz ever recorded. It was sung by the late Eva Cassidy.


I must say I love Rocky Top, but have always been confused as to why the word "soda pop" was included in the lyrics. The term "pop" is something people up north say. I believe the writers were not native Tennesseans. LOL

Hope all is well!

-- Posted by MarcmissesTN on Wed, Mar 3, 2010, at 9:23 PM

This is a little off topic (sorry!), but MarcmissesTN mentions Eva Cassidy above ... If you're not familiar with Eva, go and find some music of hers on the Internet and I'll bet you'll be hooked. She died at the age of 33 in 1996 of melanoma, but I'm collecting her music because her singing is timeless and she's absolutely one of the best singers ever. There -- put my 2 cents in on that!

-- Posted by welkindance on Thu, Mar 4, 2010, at 7:25 AM

Eva Cassidy was incredible!

-- Posted by MarcmissesTN on Fri, Mar 5, 2010, at 11:53 PM

Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration:

David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.