Bluefield to petition for new city, state song

BLUEFIELD (AP) — The city of Bluefield is hoping to lead a renewed push to declare John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” as West Virginia’s newest state song.

The city’s board of directors is set to consider a resolution Tuesday to adopt the song as the official state song of Bluefield in an effort to encourage state leaders to adopt the song as well.

“In a way it is connected to the petition to get this recognized as a state song,” Mayor Linda Whalen told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. “We think it is a good idea to adopt it as a city song, and hopefully it will spur the state on the same. This song would be an addition to the three current state songs West Virginia has, and I believe this song is the one most people identify with West Virginia. We wanted to take the lead in this project.”

The song, Whalen said, provides both an accurate description of the Bluefield area and the state overall.

“I think the way it describes the West Virginia is very applicable to Bluefield,” she said. “I think it is a very positive description of the state. It makes people feel good about the state. We just think it’s a good fit for Bluefield, too. If you think about West Virginia, this is one of the first songs that comes to mind.”

State lawmakers have considered adopting the song as West Virginia’s fourth official state song, but none of these efforts have succeeded.

According to the West Virginia Department of Commerce, West Virginia presently has only three state songs: “The West Virginia Hills” by Ellen King and H.E. Engle, “This is My West Virginia” by Iris Bell, and “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home” by Julian G. Hearne Jr. The Legislature adopted all three songs on Feb. 28, 1963.

While “Take Me Home, Country Roads” isn’t an official state song, it is the theme song for West Virginia University and has been performed at every home pre-football show since 1972.

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