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State Song

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NEWS
June 7, 1990 | By Linda S. Wallace, Inquirer Staff Writer
For more than three decades, Oklahoma, the state, and "Oklahoma," the song, have been inseparable. The two were partners in harmony; in 1953, their union was consummated when the state voted to make the song by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2d the official state song. Lately, though, instead of sweet music, there is some tough talk coming from Oklahoma, which recently announced a halt to royalty payments it was making to use the song because it discovered the state had legal rights to the song, too. Thus begins the saga of Oklahoma versus "Oklahoma.
NEWS
January 25, 2001 | By Erika Hobbs, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
It has a state bug and a state dinosaur, but New Jersey is one of the few states without an official state song. But that could change if the fourth graders at Centre City Elementary in Mantua have their way. They plan to resurrect a campaign to make a 40-year-old march New Jersey's official song. The march came within one signature of making it to the state list 29 years ago. The 75 youngsters launched their campaign to promote the short march by singing "I'm From New Jersey" at last night's meeting of the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
NEWS
April 4, 1989 | By Kathy Brennan, Daily News Staff Writer
Once upon a time, there was a mighty state with its own official fish, flower, tree, insect, bird, dog and animal. (Apparently no one told the wise men and women who governed this state that dogs and birds are animals.) But it had no official song. Its people were forced to sing unofficial songs when they wanted to praise the state, which was steeped in glory and tradition. After 20 years of wrangling, however, this object of acclaim may finally have its own song.
NEWS
December 1, 1990 | By Robert Zausner, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
In what many thought would end years of musical debate, Gov. Casey on Thursday signed into law an official state song of Pennsylvania. But two days later, the argument plays on. "We have a feeling the governor didn't know what he was signing. It is not worthy of the people of the state," said Julia Preston, a Philadelphia resident and member of the Pennsylvania Association for a State Song. She said the ditty, titled, appropriately, "Pennsylvania," sounds too much like "The Eyes of Texas" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad.
NEWS
May 22, 1991 | By Andy Wallace, Inquirer Staff Writer
Aaron J. Bonawitz never wrote a number-one hit, but he wrote the tune for a number that is likely to outlast anything on the charts today: It's called "Pennsylvania," and it's the state song. Mr. Bonawitz, who with colleague Edward A. Khoury wrote cartons-full of songs over a career spanning seven decades, put the music to Khoury's lyrics for "Pennsylvania" back in 1966 - in plenty of time for the Bicentennial. But, by the time lawmakers got around to choosing the piece, the Bicentennial was 15 years past.
NEWS
February 23, 1997 | By Jeff Gammage, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
All together now, let's hear the first verse of our unforgettable state song, "Pennsylvania. " Go ahead, sing out. What? You don't know the words? Then sit and listen while those on the other side of the river belt out their immortal paean to New Jersey. Oops - never mind. New Jersey doesn't have a state song. Unlike Tennessee, which has six. Or Oklahoma, which lifted its song from a Broadway musical. Or Maryland, whose song is set to the tune of a Christmas carol, embarrassing Marylanders everywhere when it's played on TV at the Preakness.
NEWS
January 8, 1991 | By Jeffrey Fleishman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Edward A. Khoury and Ron Bonner, a poet and a piano player, have been lacing words to music in Philadelphia since the 1930s. They collaborated with Bill Haley and the Comets in 1956 on the top-10 rocker "Hook, Line and Sinker": "Like a catfish in the river, like a flounder in the sea . . . when the right bait comes along it always makes a fool of me. I go a hook, line and sinker, a hook, line and sinker. " Before that, the duo slowed the tempo and swayed the scale for "At a Little Music Counter," which in 1939 won first prize out of 1,200 entries on Fibber McGee & Molly, a popular radio show.
NEWS
November 11, 1986 | By Steve Herz, Special to The Inquirer
Two of New Jersey's own unveiled their masterpieces yesterday. For superstar Bruce Springsteen, it was the release of his five-record album, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live - 1975-1985. For Joseph Calabrese, a 78-year-old retired salesman, it was the debut of "My New Jersey," a song he is touting for the official state song. Calabrese, strumming a slightly out-of-tune guitar, and Tony Masters, a retired Philadelphia club singer, stepped up to the microphones last night and gave the first public performance of "My New Jersey" before an enthusiastic audience - the Gloucester Township Council.
NEWS
November 20, 1990 | By Kurt Heine, Daily News Staff Writer
Pennsylvania has an official tree, plant, dog, animal, bird and who knows what else. But without a song, the state lagged behind 48 other states, where the people can sing, hum, whistle or toodle noble hymns to the greater glory of their commonwealths. That glaring lack is now about to remedied. A bill making a song called "Pennsylvania," a two-verse ditty, the official state song has been sent to Gov. Casey for his signature. The House voted 162-33 in favor of a Senate bill establishing the state song.
NEWS
August 28, 2007
With all due respect to Joseph "Red" Mascara and his New Jersey song ("Oh, say, can we get an official state song?" Aug. 19), the song needs to be more specific as to why New Jersey is great. Attached is another attempt, sung to the easy-to-sing tune, "Away in a Manger. " The final stanza is just for comic relief. New Jersey, New Jersey: Our state's got it all, From cities to farmlands We proudly stand tall. We've Pine Barrens and seashores, Lakes, mountains, and streams, Quaint towns and lush gardens It's the state of our dreams.
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NEWS
January 22, 2015
WELL, NO ONE CAN say Democratic Gov. Wolf isn't off to an enthusiastic start. His inauguration yesterday outside the Capitol was marked by calm weather, an eclectic mix of music and high-sounding rhetoric tempered with reality. There were a cappella songs from a Pittsburgh LGBT choir, a vigorous vocal of Pennsylvania's state song (who knew we had a song?) and a rousing rendition of the O'Jays' 1970s Philly-born hit "Love Train," performed by the Chester Children's Chorus.
NEWS
October 24, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Another day, another map in which Pennsylvania sits within the Northeast as an emphatic rectangle of red surrounded by a sea of regional blue. The issue is same-sex marriage, but it hardly matters, nor does the hue, olive, brown, whatever. In the Northeast, Pennsylvania is the state of a different color, consistently and almost exclusively apart on vital issues: gay rights, access to reproductive health, Medicaid expansion, voter ID. The message tends to be anywhere but here. Looking at those maps, I am reminded of that great Sesame Street ditty: "One of these things is not like the others.
NEWS
March 4, 2009
Leave it to New Jersey to be the only state without an official state song. The state that has produced Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Wyclef Jean can't agree on a tune that will resonate with residents. Songs have been proposed and debated by state lawmakers for nearly 50 years. There have been contests and finalists selected - but no winner. Not even Springsteen's "Born to Run," which some might say fits to a T. The lawmakers need to turn up the volume and listen up. It's not the most important issue, but if New Jerseyans want a state song, they should have one. And it shouldn't take a complicated process or costly study to name the right tune.
NEWS
February 15, 2009 | By Jonathan Tamari INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
Start with a colorful cast of characters and a modest goal. Then add provincialism and decades of haggling. Now throw in a compromise idea that still leaves some bristling. Finally, mix in fear of a media backlash. And there you have the story of New Jersey's futile quest for a state song. (And maybe the story of New Jersey, period.) Senate President Richard J. Codey has been in the Legislature since 1974 and has hammered out deals on $30 billion budgets, school funding, and property taxes.
NEWS
August 28, 2007
With all due respect to Joseph "Red" Mascara and his New Jersey song ("Oh, say, can we get an official state song?" Aug. 19), the song needs to be more specific as to why New Jersey is great. Attached is another attempt, sung to the easy-to-sing tune, "Away in a Manger. " The final stanza is just for comic relief. New Jersey, New Jersey: Our state's got it all, From cities to farmlands We proudly stand tall. We've Pine Barrens and seashores, Lakes, mountains, and streams, Quaint towns and lush gardens It's the state of our dreams.
NEWS
February 18, 2002 | By Lauren Rooney
In heaven, there is no beer; That's why we drink it here. - Famous polka tune Is this the type of tune we want representing Pennsylvania? You bet! We're talking polkas here, and with such songs as "The Pennsylvania Polka" and such bands as Stanky and the Coal Miners, why shouldn't the dance be one of Pennsylvania's official symbols? I think the polka should take its place with the likes of the state dog (Great Dane) and state theater (the Walnut Street Theater in Center City)
NEWS
July 3, 2001 | By Rick Horowitz
You know what's so great about this great country of ours? If we don't like something, we don't just whine about it. We take action! Don't like stumbling around in a dark closet trying to find exactly the right necktie? No problem - somebody invents the illuminated, motorized tie rack. Don't like sneezing every time we walk into a room filled with felines? Not to worry - somebody's already hard at work trying to create the genetically altered, non-allergenic cat. Don't like what people think about the state we're in?
NEWS
May 25, 2001 | By Carl Golden
The only thing I find more tiresome than late-night comedians cracking New Jersey jokes is the reaction of elected officials when the laugh lines reach their ears. Dipping into what seems to be a bottomless reservoir of indignation, the officials issue news releases, fire off angry letters to television networks, or hold news conferences to demand an apology for the demeaning and offensive remarks. No apology is ever forthcoming, of course. In fact, the reactions usually just lead to more jokes.
NEWS
February 17, 2001
In addition to all the other pressing issues facing Pennsylvania state lawmakers in this legislative session, they'll be asked to decide on a state sweet this year. A group of students from York County is asking lawmakers to make chocolate chip the official state cookie, which would go nicely with our state beverage - milk. Unless, of course the state dog, the Great Dane, swipes the cookies from the table. Then you may end up having to snack on some brook trout (our state fish)
NEWS
January 25, 2001 | By Erika Hobbs, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
It has a state bug and a state dinosaur, but New Jersey is one of the few states without an official state song. But that could change if the fourth graders at Centre City Elementary in Mantua have their way. They plan to resurrect a campaign to make a 40-year-old march New Jersey's official song. The march came within one signature of making it to the state list 29 years ago. The 75 youngsters launched their campaign to promote the short march by singing "I'm From New Jersey" at last night's meeting of the Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
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