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US State Songs

Tennessee State Song

"When It's Iris Time In Tennessee "

Written by Willa Waid Newman

Adopted in 1935.

In 1935, "When It's Iris Time in Tennessee", by Willa Waid Newman became the state's second official state song. This song was adopted by the 69th General Assembly in Chapter 154 of the Public Acts.



Tennessee State Song:
"When It's Iris Time In Tennessee "

"When It's Iris Time In Tennessee "

First Verse

Sweetness of Spring memories bring
Of a place I long to be.
Land of Sunshine calls this old hear of mine,
Come back to Tennessee.

Second Verse

Rocks and the rills deep tinted hills,
Three's no spot so dear to me.
Where'er I roam still it's my Home Sweet Home,
My own, my Tennessee.

Chorus

When it's Iris time down in Tennessee,
I'll be coming back to stay
Where the mockingbird sings at the break of day
A lilting love song gay.
Where the Iris grows,
Where the Harpeth flows,
That is where I long to be.
There's a picture there that lives in memory
When it's Iris time in Tennessee.

Origin of Song: "When It's Iris Time In Tennessee "

On April 22, 1933, a bill was passed declaring the Iris the official state flower of Tennessee. An excerpt from the bill follows.

Whereas, the State of Tennessee has never adopted a State Flower...

Whereas, the Iris is one of the most beautiful and one of the most popular flowers in the State, its profusion and beauty attracting many visitors to the State...

Now, therefore, be it resolved,...that the Iris be adopted as the state Flower of Tennessee.

In 1935, When It's Iris Time in Tennessee by Willa Waid Newman also became an official state song. This song was adopted by the 69th General Assembly in Chapter 154 of the Public Acts.

Tennessee Law

Tennessee General Statutes, Title 4, Chapter 1, Part 3, Section 302.

TITLE 4. STATE GOVERNMENT
CHAPTER 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
PART 3. STATE SYMBOLS
SECTION 302.

4-1-302. State songs. The official songs of this state shall be as follows:

(1) "My Homeland, Tennessee" by Nell Grayson Taylor and Roy Lamont Smith, as adopted by House Joint Resolution 36 in 1925;

(2) "When It's Iris Time In Tennessee" by Willa Mae Waid, as adopted by Acts 1935, chapter 154;

(3) "My Tennessee" by Francis Hannah Tranum, as adopted by Senate Joint Resolution 35 in 1955, as the official public school song in Tennessee;

(4) "The Tennessee Waltz" by Redd Stewart and Pee Wee King, as adopted by Senate Joint Resolution 9 in 1965; and

(5) "Rocky Top" by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, as adopted by Acts 1982, chapter 545.

[Acts 1935, ch. 154, § 1, 2; mod. C. Supp. 1950, § 107.1, 107.2; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 4-107; Acts 1982, ch. 545, § 1.]

 



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