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"Arkansas" - This is the current State Song

Sheila Brannon reports that she found a 5th grade Arkansas history book stating that both the words and the music were composed by Mrs. Eva Ware Barnett of Little Rock. This song was first adopted in 1917 but was dropped in 1949 when "The Arkansas Traveler" became the state song. In 1963, however, the legislature readopted "Arkansas."

1. I am thinking tonight of the Southland,
Of the home of my childhood days,
Where I roamed through the woods and the meadows,
By the mill and the brook that plays,
Where the roses are in bloom,
And the sweet magnolia too,
Where the jasmine is white,
And the fields are violet blue,
There's a welcome awaits all her children
Who have wandered afar from home.
Chorus:
Arkansas, Arkansas, 'Tis a name, dear,
'Tis the place I call "Home, Sweet Home,"
Arkansas, Arkansas, I salute thee,
From thy shelter no more I'll roam.

2. 'Tis a land full of joy and of sunshine,
Rich in pearls and in diamonds rare,
Full of hope, faith and love for the stranger
Who may pass 'neath her portals fair;
There the rice fields are full,
And the cotton, corn and hay,
There the fruits of the field bloom in winter months and May,
'Tis the land that I love, First of all dear,
And to her let us all give cheer.

Special thanks to David Ellis of Cane Hill, Ark. for sharing this with us!!


"The Arkansas Traveler"
Written by Sanford C. Faulkner

Arkansas Traveler  Click title to play song

The Arkansas State Song from 1949-1963

On a lonely road quite long ago
A traveler trod with a fiddle and a bow;
While rambling through the country rich and grand,
He quickly sensed the magic and the beauty of the land.

Many years have passed, the travelers gay
Repeat the tune along the highway;
And every voice that sings the glad refrain
Re-echoes from the mountains to the field of growing grain.

For the Wonder State we'll sing a song,
And lift our voices loud and long.
For the Wonder State we'll shout Hurrah!
And praise the opportunities we find in Arkansas.

And thanks to Bob from Colorado for these words using the same music!
He says he sang this song as a child and is now teaching it to his grandchildren!

"Oh many years ago in Arkansas--
A stranger told this story to my ma--
And often was the time she said to me--
I know it is the truth certain as can be--
Where was once in the hills quite a music makin' man--
known far and wide as fiddlein' Dan--
He could fiddle every tune, He could holler every call--
For circle square or reel, he could fiddle them all---

One night as Dan was walking out to play--
He met a grizzley standin' in the way--
He could't climb a tree, he had no gun--
He couldn't fly away, he was scared to run--
Said the bear with a might roar as he shook a mighty paw--
Your fiddelin' Dan from Arkansas--
I will let you alone if you'll play a little tune--
And organize a dance by the light of the moon--

Ol Dan he tucked his fiddle under chin--
He drew the bow his music to begin--
From all the country 'round the critters ran--
To join the party made by old fiddlein' Dan--
Prancin' out went the coon with the little porcupine--
The bear and bobcat stepped her fine--
They danced all the night every reel and every set--
And somewhere in the hills they are dancin' yet"