Lawmaker proposes new official state song in Virginia

William Howell

William Howell

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Republican House Speaker William J. Howell is proposing the General Assembly adopt a new official state song in Virginia. Howell has filed a bill for the legislative session that begins Wednesday seeking to name “Our Great Virginia,” as the official song. The song was written by Mike Greenly and arranged by Jim Papoulis.Virginia hasn’t had an official song since lawmakers voted to make “Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” the state song emeritus in 1997. The song first adopted in 1940 glorifies slavery and contains words many consider racist. According to the bill, Virginia requires an official song to be sung at occasions with pride and should reference the state’s rich tradition and invoke images of its scenic beauty. Several previous proposals for a new state song have failed.

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