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Tennessee State Flag Tennessee

A Tennessee State Song

Rocky Top

words and music by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

    Wish that I was on olí Rocky Top,
    Down in the Tennessee hills;
    Ainít no smoggy smoke on Rocky Top,
    Ainít no telephone bills;.
    Once I had a girl on Rocky Top,
    Half bear, other half cat;
    Wild as a mink, but sweet as soda pop,
    I still dream about that.

   CHORUS:
    Rocky Top, youíll always be home sweet home to me;
    Good olí Rocky Top,
    Rocky Top, Tennessee;
    Rocky Top, Tennessee.

    Once two strangers climbed olí Rocky Top,
    Lookin' for a moonshine still;
    Strangers ainít come down from Rocky Top;
    Reckon they never will;
    Corn wonít grow at all on Rocky Top;
    Dirtís too rocky by far;
    Thatís why all the folks on Rocky Top
    Get their corn from a jar;

   CHORUS:

    Iíve had years of cramped-up city life
    Trapped like a duck in a pen;
    All I know is itís a pity life
    Canít be simple again.

   CHORUS:

Adoption of State Song

It had been 17 years since Tennessee had added a state song and some thought it was time for a another state song. This time the General Assembly chose a lively number by a couple of successful popular song writers. With its adoption, "Rocky Top" joined, as the Nashville Banner noted, "the formerly sedate coterie of official state songs."

If you've been to a University of Tennessee football or basketball game, you've heard "Rocky Top" at its most powerful! As a rable-rousing, spirited, get out and win number, the bands at UT played "Rocky Top" for years before the state decided to adopt it as an official song; the fifth official state song!

The song was written in 1967 by Felice (1925-2003) and Boudleaux (1920-1987) Bryant a couple who know a little about song writing. Their compositions were performed by a wide range of performers from the Osborne Brothers to the Beatles and from the Everly Brothers to Bob Dylan to the Bangles.

The song, "Rocky Top", by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, was adopted as an official song of Tennessee on February 15, 1982, by Chapter 545 of the Public Acts of 1982.

Tennessee Code

The following information is excerpted from the Tennessee General Statutes, Title 4, Chapter 1, Part 3, Section 302. The words are not included within the statute.


Source: Tennessee State Web Site, (http://www.state.tn.us), December 5, 2004
Source: Tennessee General Assembly, (http://www.legislature.state.tn.us/), December 5, 2004
Source: Tennesee Blue Book, (http://www.state.tn.us/sos/bluebook/index.htm), December 5, 2004
Source: Tennessee State Symbols, by Rob Simbeck, Copyright 1995
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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