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HOLMBERG: Will Virginia finally get a state song it deserves?

Posted at 1:05 AM, Jan 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-16 13:36:27-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Oh, sing a song of Virginia!

One our delegates can sing, or at least hum. Or maybe just one that they can agree upon!

It's a monumental task, one our lawmakers have shirked for 17-plus years, ever since they gave the boot to "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny," sung from the point of view of a field slave, as written by minstrel genius James A. Bland, the author of some 700 songs.

That's nearly as many songs that have been considered to replace it, most of them listened to and measured by an elite panel in the late '90s. That early version of "The Voice"  wound up doing the most politically expedient thing - it picked eight of them. And then none.

Ray Parker, author of the hopeful "Virginia Is For Lovers" wound up suing because he hated his song not being considered.

There was "Take Me Home To Virginia" and several songs that were just "Virginia," not to mention "Oh, Virginia."

Of course we had prime contenders like "Sweet Virginia Breeze" and the Carter family's "Longing For Old Virginia."

I guess it's okay to be a little indecisive. After all, Virginia has struggled to agree on our state fruit, which might be aptly filled by our low-hanging state delegate, ol' Joe Morrissey. (It is, indeed, strictly rumor that he is lobbying for our state song to be "Jailhouse Rock.")

And so we have the gavel already dropped on the 2015 General Assembly session, with no song sung.

But we have at least two on the table!

Once again, we have for consideration, a re-write of the song "Shenandoah" (a much-favored tune of a prominent lawmaker). It's okay the song was originally about Missouri, but is it true that a Northerner re-shaped the lyrics?

In any event, we also have this little ditty by one of our area's most-beloved and hard-working songwriters and musicians. She is a friend to many and needs little introduction, but here is Susan Greenbaum, singing her "Virginia, the Home of My Heart."