Illinois State Song


Written by C.H. Chamberlain
Composed by Archibald Johnston

Adopted in 1925.

The song "Illinois," was designated the official State song of Illinois, and adopted in 1925. "Illinois": With music by Archibald Johnston and lyrics by Charles H. Chamberlain, "Illinois" served as the state's "unofficial" song for many years before the 54th General Assembly passed a bill making it "official." The bill was introduced by Sen. Florence Fifer Bohrer, the first woman to serve as an Illinois State Senator.

Illinois State Song: "Illinois"


By thy rivers gently flowing, Illinois, Illinois,
O'er thy prairies verdant growing, Illinois, Illinois,
Comes an echo on the breeze.
Rustling through the leafy trees, and its mellow tones are these, Illinois, Illinois,
And its mellow tones are these, Illinois.

From a wilderness of prairies, Illinois, Illinois,
Straight thy way and never varies, Illinois, Illinois,
Till upon the inland sea,
Stands thy great commerical tree, turning all the world to thee, Illinois, Illinois,
Turning all the world to thee, Illinois.

When you heard your country calling, Illinois, Illinois,
Where the shot and shell were falling, Illinois, Illinois,
When the Southern host withdrew,
Pitting Gray against the Blue, There were none more brave than you, Illinois, Illinois,
There were none more brave than you, Illinois.

Not without thy wondrous story, Illinois, Illinois,
Can be writ the nation's glory, Illinois, Illinois,
On the record of thy years,
Abraham Lincoln's name appears, Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois, Illinois,
Grant and Logan, and our tears, Illinois.

Origin of Song: "Illinois"

"Illinois" is the official state song of the U.S. state of Illinois. Written by Charlie H. Chamberlein and composed by Archibald Johnston, "Illinois" became the state song by an act of the 54th Illinois General Assembly (1925).

The 54th Illinois General Assembly enacted legislation establishing the State Song.
Source: Illinois Blue Book, 1983-1984

Illinois Law

The law designating the song "Illinois" as the official Illinois state song is found in the Illinois Compiled Statutes, Government, Chapter 5, State Designations Act, Section 35.


Sec. 35. State song. The song "Illinois", words written by C. H. Chamberlain and music composed by Archibald Johnston, is designated the official State song of Illinois. The words and music of the song are set forth at Laws 1925, pages 602 and 603, and are incorporated into this Section by reference.

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.