Children Chastise Montana Love Song

By Beacon Staff

State lawmakers Tuesday listened as Jerry McGowan sang to them a song that, if House Bill 184 passes, would become the official love song of Montana. The bill is sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Nooney of Missoula, and McGowan said he is offering it as his “gift to the state.”

McGowan, a musician, children’s author and historic restorationist, serenaded our elected officials:

“Yes this is where we both will live, and it’s here we both will die. It’s a place so full of wonder, that it’s beauty makes you cry.”

It probably ruined the mood, however, when the opposition spoke. From the Associated Press:

Opposition to the bill came from an unusual quarter, four children from one family testifying that such measures distract legislators from important work and waste taxpayer money.

“Montana already has three state songs, and that is already too many,” said Thomas Ticknor, a 9-year-old.

Currently, Montana has a state song, a state ballad and a state lullaby. The lullaby, written by rancher Ken Overcast of Chinook, was most recently added to the list during the 2007 legislative session.

In case you have forgotten the lyrics to the official state song, “Montana”:

Tell me of that Treasure State
Story always new,
Tell of its beauties grand
And its hearts so true.
Mountains of sunset fire
The land I love the best
Let me grasp the hand of one
From out the golden West.

Montana, Montana,
Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast,
You’re easily the best.
Montana, Montana,
Where skies are always blue
M-O-N-T-A-N-A,
Montana, I love you.

Each country has its flow’r;
Each one plays a part,
Each bloom brings a longing hope
To some lonely heart.
Bitter Root to me is dear
Growing in my land
Sing then that glorious air
The one I understand.

Montana, Montana,
Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast,
You’re easily the best.
Montana, Montana,
Where skies are always blue
M-O-N-T-A-N-A,
Montana, I love you.

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