Songs of Indiana

(Note: I'm a Hoosier born and bred, and am always faithful to my roots. Every year on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend hundreds of thousands of people gather in a small suburb of Indianapolis to watch drivers speed around a 2.5 mile oval - the Indianapolis 500. Just before the command to "Start Your Engines" is a song that is familiar to all (and best sung by Jim Nabors). What many people don't know, is that the song is not the 'Official' state song. But it's close.

Below is the official song of Indiana,a nd below that is the more "popular" unofficial state song, but official song of the Indy 500.

The State Song of Indiana

"On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away"
words and musice by Paul Dresser

'Round my Indiana homestead wave the cornfields,
In the distance loom the woodlands clear and cool,
Oftentimes my tho'ts revert to scenes of childhood,
Where I first received my lessons - nature's school.
But one thing there is missing in the picture,
Without her face it seems so incomplete,
I long to see my mother in the doorway,
As she stood there years ago, her boy to greet.

Oh, the moonlight's fair tonight along the Wabash,
From the fields there comes the breath of new-mown hay,
Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming,
On the banks of the Wabash, far away.

Many years have passed since I strolled by the river,
Arm in arm, with sweetheart Mary by my side,
It was there I tried to tell her that I loved her,
It was there I begged of her to be my bride.
Long years have passed since I strolled thro' the churchyard.
She's sleeping there, my angel, Mary dear,
I loved her, but she thought I didn't mean it,
Still I'd give my future were she only here.

"Indiana (Back Home Again in Indiana)"
by Ballard MacDonald (words)
and James F. Hanley (music)

I have always been a wand’rer
Over land and sea
Yet a moonbeam on the water
Casts a spell o’er me
A vision fair to see
Again I seem to be

Back home again in Indiana
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight still shining bright
Through the sycamores for me.
The new-mown hay sends all its fragrance
From the fields I used to roam,
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash
Then I long for my Indiana home.

Fancy paints on mem’ry’s canvas
Scenes that we hold dear,
We recall in days after
Clearly they appear.
And oftentimes I see
A scene that’s dear to me,