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US State Songs
US State Songs

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Iowa Unofficial State Song

"Iowa Corn Song"

Lyrics by Ray W. Lockard & George Hamilton
Original Music by Edward Riley

 Unofficial

While Major Byers thus had the honor of writing Iowa's official song, the best known and most popular song of the state is the famous "Iowa Corn Song," which every loyal son and daughter of the Hawkeye State sings lustily on any and all occasions, reaching their hands as high toward Heaven as they possibly can when the words roar forth "That's where the tall corn grows."

This famous song was written by George Hamilton, secretary of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and a big man in the Masonic Lodge, particularly among Shriners, with later help from Prof. John T. Beeston, the well known band leader; sung to the tune of "Traveling."

Iowa Unofficial State Song: "Iowa Corn Song"

"Iowa Corn Song"

Let's sing of Grand old I-O-Way, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
Our love is strong-er ev-'ry day, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
So come a-long and join the throng, Sev-'ral hun-dred thou-sand strong
As you come just sing this song, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho

We're from I-O-way, I-O-way. State of all the land
Joy on ev-'ry hand. We're from I-O-way, I-O-way.
That's where the tall corn grows

Our land is full of ripe-ning corn, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
We've watched it grow both night and morn, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho
But now we rest, we've stood the test. All that's good we have the best
I-O-way has reached the crest, Yo-Ho, yo-ho, yo-ho

We're from I-O-way, I-O-way. State of all the land
Joy on ev-'ry hand. We're from I-O-way, I-O-way.
That's where the tall corn grows

We're from I-O-way, I-O-way. State of all the land
Joy on ev-'ry hand. We're from I-O-way, I-O-way.
That's where the tall corn grows

Origin of Song: "Iowa Corn Song"

This famous song was written by George Hamilton, secretary of the Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and a big man in the Masonic Lodge, particularly among Shriners, with later help from Prof. John T. Beeston, the well known band leader. Ray W. Lockard's name appears on the original musical score as a co-writer of the song. The actual "official" song for the state of Iowa is The Song Of Iowa, written by S.H.M. Byers in 1897. But, the best know and most popular song for the state of Iowa is the famous Iowa Corn Song.

George Hamilton started the song back in 1912 when a delegation of Za-Ga-Zig Shriners had gone to Los Angeles, California, to participate in a huge Shrine convention, and it was realized that what Iowa needed was a rousing marching song, which should advertise the chief product of the state: Corn. So Hamilton wrote the original stanza, dealing mainly with the glories of the Shrine, and tacked on the original and still intact chorus, which is by far the best known and most rousing part of the song. Hundreds of later verses have been added by Hamilton himself, Professor Beeston and others, but as it is published and usually sung, the above printed song is the most accurate and popular rendition of the "Iowa Corn Song".

Resources:
History Compiled From The State Of Iowa Archives

State Songs
US State Songs
Forty-nine states of the United States (all except New Jersey) have one or more state songs, selected by the state legislature as a symbol of the state.
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