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House adopts Copperhead Road as official state song

Steve Earle and the Dukes playing the opening concert of Rudolstadt-Festival 2018. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International. Photo by Carstor.

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 1437, by State Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Mountain City this week to add “Copperhead Road” to the list of officially recognized state songs. The song was written and performed by Steve Earle and references Johnson County and Knoxville in the lyrics. House Bill 1437 now heads to the Senate for approval.

Another proposal, House Bill 622 by House Majority Whip Johnny Garrett, R-Goodlettsville, would designate “The Tennessee in Me” by Debbie Mathis Watts as an official state song.  It is expected to heard for consideration in the State Government Committee on March 22.  

 Other state songs by year of adoption

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  • “My Homeland, Tennessee” – Written by Nell Grayson Taylor, music by Roy Lamont Smith. Adopted in 1925.
  • “When It’s Iris Time in Tennessee” – Written by Willa Waid Newman. Adopted in 1935.
  • “My Tennessee” – Written by Frances Hannah Tranum. Adopted in 1955 as the official public school song.
  • “Tennessee Waltz” – Written by Redd Stewart, composed by Pee Wee King. Adopted in 1965.
  • “Rocky Top” – By Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Adopted in 1982.
  • “Tennessee” – By Vivian Rorie. Adopted in 1992.
  • “The Pride of Tennessee” – By Fred Congdon, Thomas Vaughn and Carol Elliot. Adopted in 1996.
  • “A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996” – By Joan Hill Hanks of Signal Mountain. The General Assembly adopted the song in 1996 as the Official Bicentennial Rap song though the song is not an official state song.
  • “Smoky Mountain Rain” – Written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan. Adopted in 2010.
  • “Tennessee” – Written by John R. Bean of Knoxville. Adopted in 2011.
  • “Amazing Grace” – Written by John Newton. Adopted in 2021.
  • “I’ll Leave My Heart in Tennessee” – Written by Karen Staley. Adopted in 2022.

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