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?
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?