by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver
Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. Life is old there, older than the trees, Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads. All my memories gather round her, miner’s lady, Stranger to blue water. Dark and dusty, painted on the sky, misty taste of moonshine, Teardrop in my eye. Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads. I hear her voice in the morning hour she calls me, The radio reminds me of my home far away. And driving down the road I get a feeling that I should have been home yesterday, yesterday. Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads. Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. West Virginia, mountain momma, take me home, country roads.
Songwriters: DANOFF, WILLIAM THOMAS / DANOFF, TAFFY NIVERT / DENVER, JOHN
Take Me Home, Country Roads lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.,
BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Though many assumed that "Take Me Home, Country Roads" was an official state song of West Virginia, Dreama Denver (no relation to John Denver) found that this was not the case during a conversation on her morning radio program Sunny Side Up in 2012. Her response, "If it’s not, it should be."
A first attempt in 2013, House Concurrent Resolution No. 43, introduced by State Delegate Marty Gearheart, fell short. The resolution passed through the State House of Delegates but stalled in the West Virginia Senate.
Back again, in 2014, Delegate Gearheart introduced House Concurrent Resolution No. 40 on January 22. This time, the Senate was more accomodating.
"Take Me Home, Country Roads" was adopted (Legislative action completed) as West Virginia's fourth official state song on March 07, 2014.
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 40
(By Delegates Gearheart, Arvon, Moore, Staggers, Ambler, Cooper, Sponaugle, Barrett, Hamrick, Overington and Ellington)
Designating "Take Me Home Country Roads" written by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Danoff and initially recorded by John Denver, an official state song.
WHEREAS, West Virginia currently has three official state songs as designated by House Concurrent Resolution No. 19, adopted February 28, 1963, including "This is My West Virginia," "The West Virginia Hills," and "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home"; and
WHEREAS, "Take Me Home Country Roads" has a pleasing and memorable tune and the lyrics are an apt poetic description of our landscape and heritage; and
WHEREAS, "Take Me Home Country Roads" was written in 1970 and released in 1971, was included on John Denver’s breakout album "Poems, Prayers, and Promises", and reached #2 as a single on the U.S. Hot Billboard Hot 100 chart; and
WHEREAS, "Take Me Home Country Roads" has remained a popular and often repeated song for the last 40 years with words and a tune well known nationwide and easily sung by most West Virginians living both in and out of our state; and
WHEREAS, "Take Me Home Country Roads" is performed regularly at most important events within our state, including the memorial service for Senator Robert C. Byrd, the dedication ceremony of Mountaineer Field, and the pre-game and post game ceremonies at athletic events at West Virginia University; and
WHEREAS, The lyrics are often quoted by popular celebrities and political figures, such as former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when referring to our state; and
WHEREAS, The song has been covered by artists from Ray Charles to Olivia Newton-John to the Hermes House Band to the Black Tartan Clan; and
WHEREAS, The song has been an international hit, even being one of the most popular tunes played at Munich's Oktoberfest; and
WHEREAS, It has even appeared in award winning films such as the Japanese hit "Whispers in the Heart"; and
WHEREAS, It has given positive images of West Virginia to an audience that would never otherwise have been found; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That "Take Me Home Country Roads" as written by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Canoff be designated an official state song; and, be it
Further Resolved, that the Clerk of the House of Delegates, forward a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor.
Associated Press. "Bob Denver's widow continues push to make 'Country Roads' 1 of W.Va.'s state songs." The Republic. N.p., 9 Feb. 2014. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. <http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ede892cedd144bfeab224a77073f9654/WV--State-Song>.
Associated Press. "'Country Roads' expected to become an official West Virginia state song." Bluefield Daily Telegraph. N.p., 5 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.bdtonline.com/local/x787202270/Country-Roads-expected-to-become-an-official-West-Virginia-state-song>.
"Bill Status - West Virginia Legislature." West Virginia Legislature. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Aug. 2014. <http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Status/bill_status.cfm>.
"'Country Roads:' Obvious choice for state song." Bluefield Daily Telegraph. N.p., 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.bdtonline.com/editorials/x1783665138/-Country-Roads-Obvious-choice-for-state-song>.
"House Concurrent Resolution 40, Legislative Session: 2014(RS)." West Virginia Legislature. West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information, 07 Mar 2014. Web. 13 Mar 2014.
Jordan, Greg. "Lawmakers push for 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' as W.Va. song." Bluefield Daily Telegraph. N.p., 8 Feb. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2014. <http://www.bdtonline.com/local/x1782782229/Lawmakers-push-for-Take-Me-Home-Country-Roads-as-W-Va-song>.
Lawrence, Chris. "Country Roads now official state song." WV MetroNews. N.p., 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. <http://wvmetronews.com/2014/03/07/country-roads-now-official-state-song/>.
Raby, John. "'Country Roads' gets official recognition as a WV state song." Charleston Daily Mail. N.p., 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 15 Mar. 2014. <http://www.charlestondailymail.com/News/statehouse/201403070134>.
Shrewsberry, Lisa. "Island songs." The Register-Herald. N.p., 31 Mar. 2013. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. <http://www.register-herald.com/highprofile/x2015913667/Island-songs>.
"W.Va. takes home 'Country Roads'." The Charleston Gazette. N.p., 7 Mar. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201403070150>.
State songs: Complete list of official state songs from NETSTATE.COM
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official West Virginia state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.
Poems, Prayers & Promises, John Denver. Audio CD (March 23, 1988) John Denver's Terrific Breakthrough Album!
With the release of this album in 1971, John Denver delivered the songs that would soon propel him into superstardom. All the elements he then used to achieve such singular fame and fortune as the best-selling and most popular singer of the 1970s is here, from his fabulously successful first hit "Take Me Home, Country Roads" to the under- appreciated counterculture anthem "Poems, Prayers And Promises".
John Denver's Greatest Hits, John Denver. Audio CD (June 7, 2005) Original recording remastered, Extra tracks.
His #1-smash "best-of" from 1973 plus three new bonus tracks! Includes his classic hits Take Me Home, Country Roads; Sunshine on My Shoulders , and Rocky Mountain High plus Follow Me; Goodbye Again; Leaving, on a Jet Plane; Sail Away Home; Daydream , and more. There is not a bad song on this CD.
State Songs of America, by Michael J. Bristow. 185 pages. Publisher: Greenwood (February 28, 2000)
State Songs of America provides the music and lyrics for the official songs adopted by the state governments. Arranged alphabetically by state, each song has a single vocal line over a piano accompaniment, with one verse only under the vocal line and remaining verses appearing separately. Each entry includes the date the song was adopted, the name of the composer, and in some instances, a brief history of the song. The book will be a useful reference for those wanting to perform a state song or to find the official songs of other states. Keep in mind that this book was published in 2000 and does not contain later adoptions.
State Songs: Anthems and Their Origins, by John Hladczuk, Sharon Schneider Hladczuk. 240 pages. Publisher: Scarecrow Press (September 26, 2000)
State Songs: Anthems and Their Origins is a tremendous resource, from which readers will gain insight into the heritage of American statehood. Histories of these songs, biographical information about the composers and lyricists, and background on each song's entrance into status as "official" make this source the most comprehensive in existence. The entries include sheet music, allowing readers to reproduce for themselves the tunes that have proved so important in the history of the Union. Music teachers, history teachers, librarians, and anyone else interested in learning more about the United States will not want to be without State Songs. Organized alphabetically by state. Keep in mind that this book was published in 2000 and does not contain later adoptions.