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Tennessee Code Title 4. State Government § 4-1-322

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The poem entitled “Who We Are” by Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, is designated and adopted as the official poem of Tennessee's Bicentennial, which poem reads as follows:

       Who We Are

The Bicentennial of Tennessee


The fertile soil of Tennessee

Grew more than corn, tobacco, and cotton,

It grew a crop of people who are

Trailblazers, child raisers, flag wavers, soul savers.

Like the roots of the tulip poplar,

Our feet are planted deeply

Into good living, neighbor giving, God fearing.

Like the iris, buttercup and wild daisies,

Our towns have sprung up

In valleys, basins, mountains, plains and plateaus

That house cabins, mansions and hillside chateaus.

We're the one-room schoolhouse in the hollow;

We're the university grad and the front-porch scholar.

We're Davy Crockett at the Alamo,

Sergeant York, World War I hero.

We're Cordell Hull who served Roosevelt;

We're Chief Sequoyah and his Cherokee alphabet.

We're W.C. Handy and the Memphis Blues;

We're Ida B. Wells and Civil Rights news,

And Grand Ole Opry with old wooden pews.

We're “Rocky Top” and “Tennessee Waltz” the same;

We're “Star Spangled Banner” before the game.

We're mockingbirds singing Appalachian folk songs;

We're country church sing-alongs.

We're hand clappers, toe tappers, knee slappers

And Mama's lap lullaby nappers.

We're Jackson, Johnson and James K. Polk;

We're city slickers and poor hill folk;

We're Anne Dallas Dudley and the Suffrage Vote.

We're John Sevier, Don Sundquist and governors galore;

We're congressmen, mayors and Vice President Gore.

We're Wilma Rudolph's run for the gold

And Sunday golfers' eighteenth hole.

We're Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July;

We're 4-H and homemade chess pie.

We're TVA rivers, creeks and man-made lakes;

We're ruts in dirt roads and interstates.

We're all religions, creeds and peoples of race;

We're Tennesseans who love the home place.

We're the Volunteer State and will always be

Ready to go when someone's in need.

As our trees turn green and our barns turn gray.

We celebrate our two hundredth birthday.

We know we've done our best, stood the test,

And will be laid to rest

In the fertile soil of Tennessee.

Cite this article: - Tennessee Code Title 4. State Government § 4-1-322 - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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