The state of Florida is looking for a new state song.
The current (written in 1851 by Stephen Foster, officially adopted by Florida in 1935) state song's official name is “Old Folks at Home,” (lugubrious mp3) but most people know it either for its first line “Way down upon the Swanee River…'' or for its racist lines including “Still longing for the old plantation” and “Oh darkies, how my heart grows weary.”
They had competition for a replacement, and now they are down to three finalists which can be heard at justsingflorida.org. And apparently the public is invited to vote online for the winner. Ballot stuffing anyone?
Here are direct links to the syrupy contenders:
'Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky)' | Music and lyrics by Jan Hinton
'My Florida Home' | Music and lyrics by Christopher Marshall
'Florida, My Home' | Music by Carl Ashley, lyrics by Betsy Dixon
I think the first one is awful, the second one dull, and while the third may be the least bad, I don't much care for it, and it would be hard to sing. I hope I never have to hear any of them again, but I suppose they'll start popping up at graduation.
Do any states have good anthems?