HB988: State song; designates 'Virginia: Where Heaven Touches Earth' .

Offered January 9, 2008
Prefiled January 8, 2008
A BILL to amend and reenact § 1-510 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the state song.
Patron-- Nutter

Committee Referral Pending

Whereas, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" was designated as the official song of the Commonwealth of Virginia by House Joint Resolution Number 10 in 1940; and

Whereas, "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" was designated as the song emeritus pursuant to Senate Bill 801 (c. 576 of the 1997 Acts of Assembly) in 1997; and

Whereas, the lyrics of the song do not advance specific images of Virginia, nor do they laud the great natural and scenic beauty of our state; and

Whereas, the song makes no reference to the great history and traditions of Virginia; and

Whereas, the Commonwealth deserves an official song that can be sung on all occasions with pride and affection; and

Whereas, the song "Virginia: Where Heaven Touches Earth," lyrics and music by Leslie Brooks and Ray Roberts be designated the state song of the Commonwealth, the words of which are as follows:

Where Heaven Touches Earth
Virginia, where heaven touches earth,
Virginia, our nation's place of birth.
Climb her mountains, walk her trails,
Sail her shores and ride her rails.
Virginia, her promise in the spring,
Virginia, we hear her cardinals sing.
Mountain laurel fills the air,
Dogwood blossoms everywhere.
Autumns painted red and gold,
So much beauty to behold!
Shenandoah mist fills up our eyes,
Mountains rising high to reach the skies.
Virginia, oh Virginia
Where heaven touches earth.

Now, therefore, be it

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 1-510 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 1-510. Official emblems and designations.

The following are hereby designated official emblems and designations of the Commonwealth:

Artisan Center - "Virginia Artisans Center," located in the City of Waynesboro.

Bat - Virginia Big-eared bat ( Corynorhinos townsendii virginianus ).

Beverage - Milk.

Blue Ridge Folklore State Center - Blue Ridge Institute located in the village of Ferrum.

Boat - "Chesapeake Bay Deadrise."

Covered Bridge Festival - Virginia Covered Bridge Festival held in Patrick County.

Dog - American Foxhound.

Emergency medical services museum - "To The Rescue," located in the City of Roanoke.

Fish - Brook Trout.

Fleet - Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, which comprised the Commonwealth's founding fleet that brought the first permanent English settlers to Jamestown in 1607, and which are exhibited at the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg.

Flower - American Dogwood (Cornus florida).

Folk dance - Square dancing, the American folk dance that traces its ancestry to the English Country Dance and the French Ballroom Dance, and is called, cued, or prompted to the dancers, and includes squares, rounds, clogging, contra, line, the Virginia Reel, and heritage dances.

Fossil - Chesapecten jeffersonius .

Gold mining interpretive center - Monroe Park, located in the County of Fauquier.

Insect - Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus Linne).

Motor sports museum - "Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Virginia Motor Sports Hall of Fame," located in Patrick County.

Outdoor drama - "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama," adapted for the stage by Clara Lou Kelly and performed in the Town of Big Stone Gap.

Outdoor drama, historical - "The Long Way Home" based on the life of Mary Draper Ingles, adapted for the stage by Earl Hobson Smith, and performed in the City of Radford.

Shell - Oyster shell (Crassostrea virginica).

Song - "Virginia: Where Heaven Touches Earth," lyrics and music by Leslie Brooks and Ray Roberts.

Song emeritus - "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," by James A. Bland, as set out in the House Joint Resolution 10, adopted by the General Assembly of Virginia at the Session of 1940.

Sports hall of fame - "Virginia Sports Hall of Fame," located in the City of Portsmouth.

War memorial museum - "Virginia War Museum," (formerly known as the War Memorial Museum of Virginia), located in the City of Newport News.