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Nebraska State Flag Nebraska

The Nebraska State Song

Beautiful Nebraska

words by Jim Fras and Guy Gage Miller and music by Jim Fras

    Beautiful Nebraska, peaceful prairie land.
    Laced with many rivers and the hills of sand:
    Dark green valleys cradled in the earth,
    Rain and sunshine bring abundant birth.

   CHORUS:
    Beautiful Nebraska, as you look around,
    You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground:
    All these wonders by the Master's hand:
    Beautiful Nebraska land.

    We are so proud of this state where we live.
    There is no place that has so much to give.

   CHORUS:
    Beautiful Nebraska, as you look around,
    You will find a rainbow reaching to the ground:
    All these wonders by the Master's hand.
    Beautiful Nebraska land.

Adoption of State Song

Jim Fras, a Russian refuge, arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1952. Eight years later, in 1960, he composed "Beautiful Nebraska". He is said to have composed the original piece in an hour. According to Mr. Fras, "I was lying in a pasture and words just came to me... Beautiful Nebraska, peaceful prairie land. Laced with many rivers and the hills of sand..."

Though the song seemed to come from divine inspiration, it took seven years of campaigning to move the Nebraska Legislature to adopt "Beautiful Nebraska" as the official state song. Many songs were considered carefully by the Legislature and debate was plentiful. Finally, in 1967, Senators Richard Marvel, Jerome Warner, Harold Simpson and Eric Rasmussen introduced Legislative Bill No. 535 designating "Beautiful Nebraska" as the official state song of Nebraska. The Bill was approved by a 31 to 4 vote.

The song, "Beautiful Nebraska", by Jim Fras was adopted as the official state song of Nebraska on June 21, 1967 when Governor Norbert Tiemann signed the legislation.

Round #2

In 2007, Senator Carroll Burling brought Legislative Bill No. 345 (LB345) before the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. LB345 proposed to change the official Nebraska state song from "Beautiful Nebraska" to "I Love Nebraska," by Ginger ten Bensel. Though the change had its supporters, opposition, some from the composers' families, to the change was honest and intense. Opposition to the change brought to light the fact that "Beautiful Nebraska" composer Jim Fras had help with the words from Nebraska native and poet Guy G. Miller yet, current law, § 90-111 of the Nebraska Statutus credited only Jim Fras. On January 8, 2008, Senator Russ Karpisek introduced Legislative Bill No. 728

Legislative Bill No. 728 properly credited Jim Fras and Guy D. Miller with the words and Jim Fras with the music for "Beautiful Nebraska." LB728 was approved by the Legislature on April 15, 2008 and signed into law by Governor Dave Heineman on April 16, 2008.

Nebraska Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Nebraska Statutes, Chapter 90, Section 90-111.

    Source:
    Laws 1967, c. 613,  1, p. 2060; R.R.S.1943,  84-728.

Ammended Statute 2008

    Source:
    Laws 1967, c. 613, § 1, p. 2060;
    R.R.S.1943, § 84-728;
    Laws 2008, LB728, § 1.
    Effective Date: July 18, 2008


Source: Nebraska State Web Site, (http://www.state.ne.us), December 2, 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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