Thursday, June 19, 2014

Happy 151st Birthday!

During my school years, West Virginia's birthday (June 20, 1863) was drummed into my brain. Each year at church camp, we celebrated West Virginia Day by singing the state song. While only the first verse and chorus are committed to my memory, how the rest of the song resonates with me now that I'm grown and gone!

"The West Virginia Hills"

Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel's Land!
Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills!

Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills!
If o'er sea o'er land I roam, Still I'll think of happy home,*
And my friends among the West Virginia hills.

Oh, the West Virginia hills! Where my childhood hours were passed,
Where I often wandered lonely, And the future tried to cast;
Many are our visions bright, Which the future ne'er fulfills;
But how sunny were my daydreams On those West Virginia hills!

Oh, the West Virginia hills! How unchang'd they seem to stand,
With their summits pointed skyward To the Great Almighty's Land!
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills;
But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills.

Oh, the West Virginia hills! I must bid you now adieu.
In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you;
In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills,
I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills.

And I'll bet you thought this was West Virginia's state song!  Well, it wasn't until this year. Evidently, 3 official state songs just weren't enough. 

*I remember this line as, "If by sea or land I roam. . . ." However, every online resource I could find uses the above lyrics. If anybody out there can shed light on the contradiction, please let me know; I'd love to know exactly how crazy I'm going.

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