Tennessee State Songs and Anthems
"My Homeland, Tennessee"
Tennessee's first official state song was "My Homeland, Tennessee," written by Roy Lamont Smith and Nell Grayson Taylor. Smith, originally from Freemont, Nebraska, had come to Tennessee in 1904 to join the faculty of the Cadek Conservatory of Music at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. Taylor was a native Tennessean from Chattanooga. Both of them had experienced some success publishing poetry and music before "My Homeland, Tennessee." Taylor published her first poem, "The Wooden Crosses," while stationed in France as a nurse during World War I, and Smith had written well-received songs such as the "Fairy Tale Suite."
The text for "My Homeland, Tennessee" was originally submitted to a contest seeking a patriotic state song for Tennessee. Smith added music to Taylor's words and the song won the competition. In 1925, the Tennessee General Assembly honored the winning song by officially adopting it as the state song of Tennessee.
Listen to the Nashville Children's Choir sing "My Homeland, Tennessee"
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