Appalachian Wednesday–Singing My Way Home

WV flagAppalachia extends roughly (depending on which map you look at!) from Georgia to New York. But the only state that’s 100% Appalachian is West Virginia. And that would be my home place.

I was waxing poetic about my home state when a friend asked if I sang that John Denver song when I went home. Well, no, I don’t sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” It’s a great song, but John was born in New Mexico. As it happens, I sing the WV state song, “The West Virginia Hills.” Yes, I seriously do. I almost can’t help it. When you’re that glad to be home, you’re bound to burst into song.

I don’t remember learning the state song–it was probably in school–but it’s been with me for a long time and it pretty well captures how I feel when I step foot back onto the soil that eight generations of my family have walked.

“Oh, the West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
With their summits bathed in glory, Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land!
Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills,
As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?

CHORUS:
Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills!
If o’er sea o’er land I roam, Still I’ll think of happy home,
And my friends among the West Virginia hills.”

Of course, West Virginia actually has THREE state songs, all written by natives. There’s also “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home” and “This is My West Virginia.” Just goes to show West Virginians have a lot to sing about.

How about you–has coming home ever caused you to burst into song?

10 thoughts on “Appalachian Wednesday–Singing My Way Home

  1. My mom learned this state song in school and can probably still sing it from memory! I actually like the John Denver song–“Life is old there, older than the trees, younger than the mountains…” and “drivin’ down the road I get the feelin’ that I should’ve been home yesterday.” There’ve been times I’ve realized I should’ve been home yesterday, but I was searching for a home anywhere else. In the end, the “Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water” state holds me close–just like I somehow knew it would.

  2. Mom

    Of course I sing The West Virginia Hills, but I also love this one: My Home Among The Hills

    There’s a land of rolling mountains
    Where the sky is blue above.
    And though I may roam, I hurry home,
    To those friendly hills I love.
    Where moonlit meadows ring
    with the call of whipporills
    Always you will find me in my home among the hills
    And where the sun draws rainbows in the mist
    Of waterfalls and mountain rills
    My heart will be always in the West Virginia Hills
    There, autum hillsides are bright with scarlet trees
    and in the spring, the robins sing
    While apple blossoms whisper in the breeze
    And there is music in the flashing streams
    and joy in fields of daffodils
    Laughter through the happy valleys of my home among the hills

  3. Mom

    Love the top picture in the jacket (but while you look great in the pink dress, I’m not crazy about the boots.) Any more? I want a 5×7 of one! 🙂

  4. Aunt Pat

    That’s funny… I just sang “The West Virginia Hills” to Dave as we were driving back from Maryland the other day… 🙂

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