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Kansas State Song

"Home on the Range"

Written by Brewster Higley
Composed by Daniel Kelley

Adopted on June 30,1947.

"Home on the Range" was adopted as the state song June 30, 1947. The original title of "Home On the Range" was "My Western Home." Dr. Higley wrote the words in 1871 or 1872. There seem to be many different versions of this song around. Perhaps this is what the Kansas Legislature was concerned about when it wrote "...as originally written..." into the law.

Kansas State Song: "Home on the Range"

"Home on the Range"

Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Chorus

Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
The breezes so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home on the range
For all the cities so bright.

Chorus

Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down the stream;
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

Chorus

The red man was pressed from this part of the West,
He's likly no more to return
To the banks of Red River where seldom if ever
Their flickering campfires burn.

Chorus

How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the light of the glittering stars,
Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

Chorus

Oh, I love these wild flowers in this dear land of ours;
The curlew I love to hear scream;
And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks
That graze on the mountain-tops green.

Chorus

Then I would not exchange my home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Chorus

Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

Origin of Song: "Home on the Range"

Research indicated that Dan Kelley played a Violin not a guitar. The guitar was played by Clarence Harlan at the dance where "Home on the Range" was first played. The guitar belonged to Virginia D. Harlan who sang the first playing of the song.

The words were written from a poem that Dr. Brewster M. Higley, an early Pioneer of in Smith County, Kansas in 1871, had written. The poem was called "Oh give me a Home". Kelley who wrote the music and played the song was a member of the Harlan Brother orchestra.

Dr. Higley went to Gaylord, Kansas, showed the verses to Dan Kelley. Kelley had been a bugler in the Union army during the Civil War and had the ability to compose music. Kelley set it music that evening.

The next evening, it was played, but needed some sort of a refrain. The words being slightly different than now. " A home, a home where the deer and the antelope play", was the first line instead of, "Home, home on the Range, where the deer and the antelope play,"as it is commonly sung today.

The song was a big success which cause William and Mary Goodwin of Tempe, Ariz. tbrought a lawsuit for infringement of copyright against 35 individuals and corporations, including National Broadcasting Co. and many large publishing houses in the courts of New York in 1934. They asked $5000,000 damages. They claimed that Goodwin had written the words of a song entitled" My Arizona Home" and Mrs. Goodwin the melody and that the copyright had been registered on February 27, 1905.

The suit caused the song to be taken off the air. Publishing ceased and professional singers no longer used it. Samuel Moanfeldt, a New York lawyer, was employed by the Music Publishers Protective Association to investigate the claimants and to discover, if possible, the origins of the words and music. With evidence and affidavit from numerous other people, Moanfeldt returned to New York, City in 1936 with the proof that the song originated in Smith county, Kansas, that the words were written by Dr. Brewster M.Higley and that Dan Kelley supplied the music.

Goodwins lost their lawsuit and it was established that "Home On the Range", was written in Smith county, Kansas, Dr. I. E. Nickell, State Representative in 1947, introduced a bill into the House of Representative of Kansas Legislature to make it the official state song. Hal Harlan of Manhattan, a son Gene Harlan, carried the bill in the State Senate. The bill passed both houses and the song was officially adopted June 30,1947.

Here are the originated words that Clarence (Cal), Eugene (Gene) Harlan and Dan Kelley came up with on their first singing on April-1873, with young Virgie Harlan.

The Western Home

Oh, give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play'
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

"Chorus"
A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where never is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.
Oh, give me land the land
There the bright diamond sand
Throws its light on the glittering stream
Where glideth along
The graceful white swam
Like a maid in her heavenly dream.

Oh, give me the gale
Of the Solomon vale
Where the life stream of buoyancy flows
On the banks of the Beaver
Where seldom, if ever
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

I love the wild flowers
In this bright land of ours,
I love, too, the wild curler's scream
The bluffs and white rocks
And antelope flocks,
That graze on the mountain so green.

A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where never is heard
A discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

How often at night
When the heavens were bright
By the light of the twinkling stars,
Have I stood here amazed
And asked as I gazed
If there glory exceeds that of ours.

The air is so clear,
The breeze so pure,
The zephyr so balmy and light;
I would not exchange
My home here on range
Forever in assure so bright.

A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where never is heard
A discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Kansas Statutes, Chapter 73, Article 1, Section 01. The words are included within the statute.

Chapter 73.--SOLDIERS, SAILORS AND PATRIOTIC EMBLEMS
Article 13.--STATE SONG
SECTION 01

73-1301. Home on the Range. The song "Home on the Range" as originally written with words by Dr. Brewster Higley and music by Dan Kelly is hereby established as the Kansas state song. The words to such song shall be:

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Chorus:

A home, a home where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Oh, give me the gale of the Solomon vale,
Where life streams with buoyancy flow,
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

Oh, give me the land where the bright diamond sand
Throws its light from the glittering stream
Where glideth along the graceful white swan,
Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours;
I love too the wild curley's scream,
The bluffs and white rocks and antelope flocks
That graze on the hillsides so green.

How often at night, when the heavens are bright
With the light of the glittering stars,
Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds this of ours.

The air is so pure, the breezes so free,
The zephyrs so balmy and light,
I would not exchange my home here to range
Forever in azure so bright.

History: L. 1947, ch. 433, 1; June 30.

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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