The Alabama State Song
Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee, From thy Southern shore where groweth, By the sea thine orange tree. To thy Northern vale where floweth Deep and blue thy Tennessee. Alabama, Alabama We will aye be true to thee! Broad the Stream whose name thou bearest; Grand thy Bigbee rolls along; Fair thy Coosa-Tallapoosa Bold thy Warrior, dark and strong. Goodlier than the land that Moses Climbed lone Nebo's Mount to see Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee! From thy praries broad and fertile, Where thy snow-white cotton shines. To the hills where coal and iron Hide in thy exhaustless mines. Strong-armed miners--sturdy farmers: Loyal hearts what'er we be. Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee! From the quarries where the marble White as that of Paros gleams Waiting till thy sculptor's chisel, Wake to like thy poet's dream; For not only wealth of nature, Wealth of mind hast thou to fee. Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee! Where the perfumed south-wind whispers, Thy magnolia groves among, Softer than a mother's kisses Sweeter than a mother's song; Where the golden jasmine trailing, Woos the treasure-laden bee, Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee! Brave and pure thy men and women, Better this than corn and wine, Make us worthy, God in Heaven, Of this goodly land of Thine; Hearts as open as our doorways, Liberal hands and spirits free, Alabama, Alabama, We will aye be true to thee! Little, little, can I give thee, Alabama, mother mine; But that little--hand, brain, spirit, All I have and am are thine. Take, O take the gift and giver. Take and serve thyself with me, Alabama, Alabama, I will aye be true to thee.
Educater Julia Strudwick Tutwiler (1841-1916) was a woman ahead of her time. She forced the University of Alabama to accept "female" students and later established the first technical school for women, now known as the University of Montevallo. She was a prison reformer, an author and a poet. Her poem, "Alabama," became the Official State Song in 1931.
"Alabama" was written in 1868 or 1869, during reconstruction and just after her return from Germany. She was very much concerned about the future of her state and recalled some of the exciting and inspiring patriotic songs she had heard in Germany. She thought the people of Alabama could use some inspiration after the War Between the States and set about writing her own "fatherland" song. She called it "Alabama" and gifted it to the state.
Tutwiler's "Alabama" was originally sung to the tune of an Austrian air. Then in Gadsden, in 1917, Edna Gockel-Gussen of Birmingham won the Alabama Federation of Music Club's competition for her composition setting Julia Tutwiler's poem to music.
Through the efforts of the Alabama Federation of Music Clubs, and a bill introduced by the Honorable Tyler Goodwyn, House Concurrent Resolution No. 74 was adopted on March 9, 1931 making Julia Tutwiler's poem and Edna Gockel-Gussen's music the state's Official State Song.
Source: Alabama Department of Archives & History,(http://www.archives.state.al.us/emblems/st_song.html), September 23, 2004
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