Home page


Wisconsin state flagWisconsin
You may double left-click on a word on this page to retrieve its definition.
Bookmark and Share

Wisconsin State Waltz

The Wisconsin Waltz   Adopted: August 30, 2001

The Wisconsin Waltz

music and lyrics written by Eddie Hansen

Music from heaven throughout the years; the beautiful Wisconsin Waltz.
Favorite song of the pioneers; the beautiful Wisconsin Waltz.
Song of my heart on that last final day, when it is time to lay me away.
One thing I ask is to let them play the beautiful Wisconsin Waltz.

My sweetheart, my complete heart, it’s for you when we dance together; the beautiful Wisconsin Waltz.
I remember that September, before love turned into an ember, we danced to the Wisconsin Waltz.
Summer ended, we intended that our lives then would both be blended, but somehow our planning got lost.
Memory now sings a dream song, a faded love theme song; the beautiful Wisconsin Waltz.	

Adoption of Wisconsin State Waltz

Wisconsin state waltz
Wisconsin State Waltz: The Wisconsin Waltz
Wisconsin state waltz
Ethwell Idair (Eddy) Hanson

Ethwell "Eddy" Hanson was born in New London, Wisconsin probably in 1893.

As a small child, Eddy says he would listen to a neighbor play rinky-dink cylinder records on an Edison Amberola, and then run home to duplicate the rhythms on his mother's dish pans.

It wasn't long before his parents bought him a piano and enlisted the aid of a music teacher for their son. Eddy's father insisted that Eddy learn tempo and a clean, exact technique and to that end, paid for forty-eight lessons at fifty cents a lesson.

Alas, Eddy was a poor student, confessing that he was too busy composing music.

Eddy led an active, colorful life that included a wonderful, extensive career in music in the exciting age of silent film, player pianos, and early radio. He played saxophone in John Philip Sousa's band and, later in life, became known as the last of the "super star solo organists."

Many remember his personality as being quite "dapper and colorful," and his general demeanor as very engaging. As for his own attitude, he wrote in his later years, "I never count the years or talk about death or disease. I never have had a headache in my entire life - can eat anything, drink anything, any time of the day, and sleep nine or ten hours a night. `As a man thinketh so he is. "I'm the healthiest man in the world!"

(Edwards "Ethwell Idair (Eddy) Hanson")

Wisconsin state waltz
Wisconsin state waltz: "Wisconsin Waltz"

Eddy composed over 300 songs and, in 1951, he wrote "Wisconsin Waltz."

On January 16, 2001, State Representative Sheryl K. Albers introduced House Bill No. 21 proposing that "Oh Wisconsin, Land of My Dreams" be named Wisconsin's state ballad.

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Marlin Schneider approached Rep. Albers suggesting the Eddy Hanson's "Wisconsin Waltz" would make a great state waltz. In testimony to the Assembly Committee on Government Operations, Rep. Albers explained the addition of a state waltz to her original state ballad bill.

"I agreed that recognizing this song would add to the cultural heritage we celebrate here in Wisconsin, so I've had a substitute drafted that will incorporate both the ballad and the waltz as new cultural symbols for our state.

("Testimony of Representative Sheryl K. Albers")

House Bill No. 21 didn't go far, eventually failing to pass out of the Assembly Committee on Government Operations.

But in the meantime, supporters of the state waltz and the state ballad managed to get their proposals amended to an unrelated Senate bill; Senate Bill No. 55, An Act relating to: state finances and appropriations, constituting the executive budget act of the 2001 legislature.

Senate Bill No. 55 carried both the state waltz and the state ballad to officialdom even as parts of the bill were vetoed by Governor Scott McCallum.

The State of Wisconsin also adopted an official state song in 1959.


Edwards, Bill. "Ethwell Idair (Eddy) Hanson."RagTimePiano.com. Bill Edwards. Web. 28 May 2015.

"House Bill 21." 2001-2001 Wisconsin Legislature. State of Wisconsin, 26 Mar. 2002. Web. 28 May 2015,

"Senate Bill 55." 2001-2002 Wisconsin Legislature. State of Wisconsin, 13 Nov. 2002. Web. 28 May 2015.

Shearer, Benjamin F. and Barbara S. State Names, Seals, Flags and Symbols: A Historical Guide Third Edition, Revised and Expanded. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 3 Sub edition, 2001.

"Testimony of Representative Sheryl K. Albers." Wisconsin State Legislature. State of Wisconsin, 30 May 2001. Web. 28 May 2015.

Walrath, Theo. "Eddy Hanson, Master Organist, Composer Is Dead at 92." Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association. Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association, 1 July 1986. Web. 28 May 2015.

Werolin, Alfe E. "Eddy Hanson." Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association. Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association, June 1980. Web. 28 May 2015.

"Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations." Wisconsin State Legislature. State of Wisconsin, 22 May 2015. Web. 28 May 2015.

Additional Information

Eddy Hanson: Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association.

Ethwell Idair (Eddy) Hanson: Bill Edwards: RagPiano.com.

History of Waltz: Brief history of the waltz from Central Home.

Waltz: Entry from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

How to Waltz Dance Online – Waltz Steps For beginners: Leon Turesky's Learntodance.com; Boston professional ballroom dance instructor.

State songs: Complete list of official state songs from NETSTATE.COM

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Wisconsin state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

State Songs of America

State Songs of America Edited by M. J. Bristow. 184 pages. Greenwood Press (February 28, 2000)

This book 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.

State Songs: Anthems & Their Origins

State Songs: Anthems & Their Origins by John Hladczuk and Sharon Schneider Hladczuk. 240 pages. Scarecrow Press (September 26, 2000)

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.

Sheet Music Plus logo