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West Virginia State Song

"Take Me Home Country Roads"

by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Canoff

Adopted 2014.

The song "Take Me Home Country Roads"by John Denver has long been considered the unofficial anthem of West Virginia. Friday, it became official. Lawmakers passed House Resolution 40 which declares Country Roads the fourth official state song of West Virginia. House Concurrent Resolution 40 states, aside from radio and record success, "Take Me Home Country Roads"has been performed regularly at most important events within our state, including the memorial service for Senator Robert C. Byrd, the dedication ceremony of Mountaineer Field, and the pre-game and post-game ceremonies at athletic events at West Virginia University.

West Virginia State Song: "Take Me Home Country Roads

"Take Me Home Country Roads"

Almost heaven, West Virginia,
Blue Ridge Mountains
Shenandoah River.
Life is old there,

Older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains
Growin' like a breeze.

[Chorus]
Country roads, take me home
To the place where I belong:
West Virginia, mountain momma,
Take me home, country roads.

All my memories gathered 'round her,
Miner's lady, stranger to blue water.
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky,
Misty taste of moonshine,
Teardrop in my eye.

[Chorus]
Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong:
West Virginia, mountain momma,
Take me home, country roads.

I hear her voice, in the mornin' hour she calls me,
Radio reminds me of my home far away
And driving down the road I get a feeling that
I should have been home yesterday, yesterday

[Chorus]
Country roads, take me home
To the place where I belong:
West Virginia, mountain momma,
Take me home, country roads.

Origin of Song: "Take Me Home Country Roads"

The song was written by Bill Danoff, John Denver and Taffy Nivert in 1970 and was recorded and released in 1971 on John Denver's album "Poems, Prayers, and Promises."It reached number two as a single on the U.S. Billboard's "Hot 100"chart.

John Denver's 'Country Roads' becomes West Virginia state song

By JOHN RABY
ASSOCIATED PRESS


CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Singer John Denver never called West Virginia home, but his 1970s hit "Take Me Home, Country Roads"is one of the state's official songs.

Forty-three years after it first hit the airwaves with the words "Almost Heaven, West Virginia,"the Legislature approved a resolution Friday designating it as one of four state songs.

The song has resonated with residents for decades. It's played after every West Virginia University basketball and football game. Denver sang it in person at the dedication of Mountaineer Field in Morgantown in 1980.

The state song effort was started two years ago by the widow of "Gilligan's Island"actor Bob Denver, who is no relation.

A Bluefield native, Dreama Denver said she got the idea after playing the song on her morning radio show in Princeton and a caller wanted to know if it was an official state song.

After doing some research, she learned it wasn't. She contacted Raleigh County Delegate Marty Gearhart, who got the ball rolling at last year's regular session. The resolution passed the House of Delegates in 2013 but never made it through the Senate.

This year, it did.

"My heart has been pounding all day,"Dreama Denver said.

She said she's heard countless stories about the song from residents, including a man who recently told her, "This is not a song. It's an anthem."

"The entire world knows us with this song,"she said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said he was part of a state trade mission to Taiwan several years ago. A nightclub at a hotel where he was staying was playing waltzes, but as soon as Tomblin and other members of his party entered, John Denver's song started playing.

"I'm very proud that 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' finds a new home among our beloved official state songs,"Tomblin said at a state Capitol ceremony.

West Virginia has three other official state songs: "West Virginia Hills,""This Is My West Virginia"and "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home."

Country Roads now official state song

By Chris Lawrence in News | March 07, 2014 at 12:44PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's likely the only song which every resident of the state knows the words. It's played in honky tonks and hip hop bars with equal appreciation. The song "Take Me Home Country Roads" by John Denver has long been considered the unofficial anthem of West Virginia. Friday, it became official. Lawmakers passed House Resolution 40 which declares Country Roads the fourth official state song of West Virginia.

The idea was first suggested by Dreama Denver who lives in Mercer County. Dreama is the wife of the late actor Bob Denver who was the star of Gilligan's Island. Speaking on the Metro News Morning News Friday, Dreama said the idea started when she played the song on her morning radio show and a caller asked if it was the official state song.

"I told them I didn't think so, so I Googled it and of course it was not,"she said. "The idea was born then. It should be. Let's make it so."

Dreama, who incidentally is no relation to singer John Denver, called on her local Del. Marty Gearheart for assistance. He agreed to sponsor the resolution, which they hoped pass last year during the state's Sesquicentennial. It passed the House of Delegates but didn't' pass the Senate.

"I told them, fine I'll be back every year until it does pass."Dreama said.

A year later, Dreama joined Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in celebrating "Take Me Home Country Roads"as the fourth official state song. The others are "The West Virginia Hills,""West Virginia My Home Sweet Home,"and "This is My West Virginia."

"Take Me Home Country Roads"was written as a collaboration by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Danoff. The tune is recognized worldwide.

West Virginia House Concurrent Resolution No. 40

(By Delegates Gearheart, Arvon, Moore, Staggers,

Ambler, Cooper, Sponaugle, Barrett, Hamrick,
Overington and Ellington)

Designating "Take Me Home Country Roads" written by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Danoff and initially recorded by John Denver, an official state song.
Whereas, West Virginia currently has three official state songs as designated by House Concurrent Resolution No. 19, adopted February 28, 1963, including "This is My West Virginia," "The West Virginia Hills," and "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home"; and
Whereas, "Take Me Home Country Roads" has a pleasing and memorable tune and the lyrics are an apt poetic description of our landscape and heritage; and
Whereas, "Take Me Home Country Roads" was written in 1970 and released in 1971, was included on John Denver's breakout album "Poems, Prayers, and Promises", and reached #2 as a single on the U.S. Hot Billboard Hot 100 chart; and
Whereas, "Take Me Home Country Roads" has remained a popular and often repeated song for the last 40 years with words and a tune well known nationwide and easily sung by most West Virginians living both in and out of our state; and
Whereas, "Take Me Home Country Roads" is performed regularly at most important events within our state, including the memorial service for Senator Robert C. Byrd, the dedication ceremony of Mountaineer Field, and the pre-game and post-game ceremonies at athletic events at West Virginia University; and
Whereas, The lyrics are often quoted by popular celebrities and political figures, such as former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when referring to our state; and
Whereas, The song has been covered by artists from Ray Charles to Olivia Newton-John to the Hermes House Band to the Black Tartan Clan; and
Whereas, The song has been an international hit, even being one of the most popular tunes played at Munich's Oktoberfest; and
Whereas, It has even appeared in award winning films such as the Japanese hit "Whispers in the Heart"; and
Whereas, It has given positive images of West Virginia to an audience that would never otherwise have been found; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That "Take Me Home Country Roads" as written by John Denver, Taffy Nivert, and Bill Canoff be designated an official state song; and, be it
Further Resolved, that the Clerk of the House of Delegates, forward a certified copy of this resolution to the Governor.

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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