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North Dakota State Flag North Dakota

The North Dakota State Song

North Dakota Hymn

words by James W. Foley and music arranged by Dr. C. S. Putnam

    North Dakota, North Dakota,
    With thy prairies wide and free,
    All thy sons and daughters love thee,
    Fairest state from sea to sea;
    North Dakota, North Dakota,
    Here we pledge ourselves to thee.

    Here thy loyal children singing,
    Songs of happiness and praise,
    Far and long the echoes ringing,
    Through the vastness of thy ways;
    North Dakota, North Dakota,
    We will serve thee all our days.

    Onward, onward, onward going,
    Light of courage in thine eyes,
    Sweet the winds above thee blowing,
    Green thy fields and fair thy skies;
    North Dakota, North Dakota,
    Brave the soul that in thee lies.

    God of freedom, all victorious,
    Give us Souls serene and strong,
    Strength to make the future glorious,
    Keep the echo of our song;
    North Dakota, North Dakota,
    In our hearts forever long. 

Adoption of State Song

In 1926 Minnie J. Nielson, North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction, asked Poet James Foley of Bismarck to write the lyrics for a song about North Dakota. Foley created a poem that could be sung to the tune, "The Austrian Hymn". Dr. C. S. Putnam, conductor of the North Dakota Agricultural College Band in Fargo, arranged music for Foley's work. The First public presentation of the North Dakota Hymn was in the Bismarck City Auditorium in 1927.

The song, "North Dakota Hymn" with words written by James William Foley (1874-1939) and music composed by Dr. Clarence Simeon Putnam (1859-1944) , was adopted as the official song for the state of North Dakota on March 15, 1947.

North Dakota Century Code

The following information is excerpted from the North Dakota Century Code, Title 54, Chapter 02, Section 04.


Source: Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, (http://www.und.nodak.edu/dept/library/Collections/og528.html), December 3, 2004
Source: North Dakota Century Code, (http://www.state.nd.us/lr/information/statutes/cent-code.html), December 3, 2004
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols by Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Copyright 2002
Source: State Songs America, Edited by M.J. Bristow, Copyright 2000




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