Connecticut State Cantata


Stanley L. Ralph

Adopted on June 3, 2003

On June 3, 2003, the Connecticut General Assembly designated The Nutmeg, Homeland of Liberty by Dr. Stanley L. Ralph as the State Cantata. The nine-minute cantata was first performed at the B. W. Tinker Elementary School in Waterbury by the school's 1962 graduating class. Cantatas are choral compositions usually set to sacred texts, but The Nutmeg relates Connecticut's history through song.

House Bill 6085, Public Act 03-63
House Bill 6085, establishing "Nutmeg" as the official state cantata.

Connecticut State Cantata: "Nutmeg"


The Connecticut State Cantata Nutmeg by Stanley L. Ralph Beautiful hills and valleys, flatlands which were called plains, rivers and lakes, the soft flowing streams and off the to the south, the ocean. Connecticut was a peaceful place back in its early beginning. The rustle of leaves the songs of the birds and the animal sounds were all that broke the quiet. The fish undisturbed, swam the lakes and the streams, the deer roamed the forest without fear.

Then, there appeared the first humans to disturb this peaceful scene. The Indians came. Oooh. The forest became hunting grounds. The plains became farms and villages. The ocean and rivers supplied them with fish and the names they were called sounded something like this: Siwangogs, Unkowas, Wepawaug, Paugusset, Quinnipiac, Wangunk, Saukiog, Pyquac, Hockanum, Tunxis, Massacoes, Podunk, Scanticock, Hehantics, Uncas, Sassacus, Mystic, Mohegan, Nipmucks, Pequot, Agawam. How!

These were the larger Indian Tribes and their villages, and though they were all warlike, they were friendly to the Dutch and English who came later and traded the land for blankets, beads, guns, knives, coats and other tangible items. However, the Indians didn't realize they would one day have to leave the lands which they sold. They thought of land as being like air, free to all!

A threat to the colony of Connecticut, the Pequot war of sixteen thirty-seven ended in destruction of the Pequot Indians tribe. But this was not the end of aggression, and Connecticut began to grow when many newcomers like Thomas Hooker, his family and friends came looking for land and a new life to begin. This is were oppression for them would end.

We want to have our own churches and choose our own ministers!

Thus was born the first written Constitution of the Colonies. The Fundamental Orders. Government of the people and by the people and for the people. Amen. Written and adopted in 1639. Amen. Later developed into our present national government. Amen.

Connecticut grew from year to year. The citizens rallied together in blood, sweat and tears. Towns were being settled, wars were being fought, and her natural resources were greater than the people thought. Lumbering, mining, shipping, whaling, fishing, trading, farming also, metal of the rocks, sawmills too, imports, exports. These are a few major occupations the people had to do and this is how Connecticut really grew.

King Philip's war. King William's war. Queen Ann's war. The Spanish war. The French and Indian war.

As a result of sharing in five wars there was a change in the way of living and a change in the way of thinking and yet, the people did not realize that a new struggle was beginning. The struggle for Independence!

Descendents they were of the English. Proud of the names they bore, but they were no longer children, they were here and she was there. Connecticut objected strongly to the laws passed by the English Parliament.

We will not pay your taxes! Oh yes you will. Oh no we won't. Oh yes you will. Oh no we won't and we will manufacture and trade our goods, this is our life. Your life! Our matters of survival, your taxes are too high. We will not pay. You have no right, we rebel, we'll fight, you have no right.

We are the "Sons of Liberty" and we dislike your taxes. Sugar tax, stamp tax, tea tax, trade tax. No! We'll put the axe to taxes. We will defend our acts, indeed we'll fight for out rights. {We'll end taxes, we will defend our acts and fight for our rights.}

Connecticut men were brave and bold, so the age old story is told. Led by Israel Putnam, Ethan Allen and Thomas Knowlton, they did so many valiant things, too numerous to quote them.

Then there was one whom we can't quite understand, led battles, was wounded, but never lost. Benedict Arnold became a traitor to the American Cause.

There are others who are also worthy of being remembered as good Patriots. We never shall forget Nathan Hale who just before being hanged as a spy, said, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." {Nathan Hale did not die in vain. "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."}

The end of the revolution created the birth of a free and independent nation. America. America. America. America. And proud to be one of the nine United States was Connecticut, Connecticut , who was growing with people, expanding in business and developing her many industries. In Waterbury they were making clocks. In Danbury they were making hats. In Meriden, the pots and pans, forks, knives and spoons, dishes too were being made for every household.

What a history! And that's not all! Did you know that the first patent issued by the United States was given to a Connecticut man? More patents are held by Connecticut than by any other state. Connecticut men have long been noted for their curiosity and experiments. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Samuel Colt invented the Colt Revolver. Linus Yale invented the Yale Locks. Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber. Simeon Rodgers electroplated silver on other metals. Eli Terry, Seth Thomas, Chauncy Jerome. Hickory, dickory, dock, these men invented clocks!

A growing population caused a need for many things. Factories were going up, machines were being built, men and women were hired for the jobs and mass production in large quantitites soon supplied the people with all their needs. Ahhhh. Qui transtulit sustinet.

How beautiful her rolling hillsides, against a sky so blue. Beside the "Long Tidal River" she stands firm and true to the cause of the Union of America and is known as the "Constitution State." How lovely blooms the mountain laurel throughout the county scenes, and sweetly sings the robin around the White Oak Tree. We ask God for his guidance and protection. Connecticut we sing of thee. Connecticut. Connecticut. Connecticut. Qui transtulit sustinet. He who transplanted still sustains. He who transplanted still sustains. He who transplanted still sustains. He who transplanted still sustains. And from your earliest beginning we can say thank God, thank God for today. Amen.

Origin of Song: "Nutmeg"

"The Nutmeg" cantata is nine minutes in length, and relates Connecticut's history, including the names of Native American tribes, through song. It begins with the following lines:

"Beautiful hills and valleys, flatlands which were called plains, rivers and lakes, the soft flowing streams and off to the south, the ocean. Connecticut was a peaceful place, back in its early beginning."

The cantata has the following dedication:

"This Cantata, written expressly for Junior High School voices was first performed by the 1962 Graduating Class from the B. W. Tinker Elementary School in Waterbury, Connecticut

Miss Mary Rotella, Principal of the school, ignited the spark which inspired me to write "The Nutmeg."

Dedication is here made to my wife and children, Miss Rotella, the Graduating Class of 1962, and all who are endeared to Connecticut."

Connecticut House Bill 6085, Public Act 03-63

House Bill No. 6085
Public Act No. 03-63


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2003) The cantata entitled "Nutmeg" composed by Stanley L. Ralph shall be the state cantata.

Approved June 3, 2003

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.