Friday, September 5, 2014

It is Time for a New State Song,,,

...and I know what is should be.

Our current Washington State song, Washington, My Home is terrible. Seriously, listen if you dare. As I have written before, it sounds like it was written by a committee of Girl Scouts. And to think we could have had Louie, Louie as the state song!

I want to propose a new state song--catchy, funny, historical, and written right here in Washington State. The song is The Old Settler. It was written by Judge Francis Henry of Pierce County around 1874 and was an instant hit. In fact when the state Constitutional Convention finished their work in 1889, they finished up by singing The Old Settler. The song was was forgotten until the early 20th century, when it was revived by Ivar Haglund--yeah, that Ivar. This charming video from MOHAI tells the story:

Additional information at this webpage from the Northwest Folklore Society. The one thing that the experts are missing is that the tune is not original--Henry set his lyrics to the tune of the traditional Irish folk (by which I men drinking) song, Rosin' the Bow.

Clearly, this is our song. Join me, Washingtonians, let's make this our state song. I know it is pretty west-side focused, but in this case we can let that pass. Acres of clams, people, acres of clams! Can't you see crowds of Washingtonians raising their voices to sing the Old Settler at Fourth of July picnics, or Seahawks games? We need to make this happen.

Here is how you can contact your state representatives. Do it today!

1 comment:

Larry Cebula said...

I just emailed my reps, with links that do not paste in the comments. But you get the idea:

Subject: The Most Important Issue in the State Today... to change our terrible, terrible state song.

I call on you, my representatives, to introduce legislation at the earliest possible moment to change our state song from the terrible, god awful "Washington, My Home" to the historical, humorous, and objectively awesome "The Old Settler."

The Old Settler was written back in territorial days by a frontier judge, was sung the members of the 1889 Constitutional Convention, is based on an Irish drinking song, and contains the line "acres of clams." A video from MOHAI that I shared on my blog lays out the story.

Washington, My Home, on the other hand is wretched. Listen, and try not to break something. It was written by a committee of Girl Scouts, is maudlin and humorless, and is disdained by all right-thinking persons.

I know some of you are up for reelection, and others are just plain ambitious. This is the issue that will unite all of Washington. Make it so.