ALABAMA (WHNT) — Tennessee has “Rocky Top”, West Virginia has “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” But does Alabama have a state song?

State songs are songs selected by state legislatures to become an official symbol or emblem for a specific state, similar to state birds or state flowers. 48 of the 50 United States have at least one official state song.

So what song does Alabama have? “Sweet Home Alabama”? “My Home’s in Alabama”? “Alabama Song”? “Stars Fell on Alabama”?

The answer is none of the above. Alabama does have a state song, but it’s not a song many may know or would guess, unless perhaps your teachers made you memorize it in elementary school.

The state’s song, “Alabama”, was adopted as an official state symbol in 1931.

The song was originally a poem written by Julia S. Tutwiler, a writer, educator, advocate for women’s education and prison reformer whose namesake was given to the women’s prison in Elmore County. Edna Gockel Gussen, a Birmingham organist, pianist and conductor, put the words to music.

Tutwiler reportedly wrote the song during or after her trip to Germany, where she was inspired by some of the “patriotic” songs she had heard, though the exact timeline is disputed.

“Alabama, Alabama,

We will aye be true to thee,

From thy Southern shore where groweth,

By the sea thine orange tree.

To thy Northern vale where floweth

Deep and blue thy Tennessee.

Alabama, Alabama”

“Alabama,” Julia Tutwiler, Edna Gockel Gussen

Some Alabama legislators have tried to change the state’s official song, but efforts to this point have failed.

According to reporting from, former state legislator Jack Biddle made attempts at changing the state’s song in 1987 and 2000. In his second attempt at a change, he proposed “Alabama” remain as the state anthem, “Stars Fell on Alabama” becomes the state song and “My Home’s in Alabama” becomes the state’s ballad.

Former state representative Johnny Mack Morrow proposed a change in 2010, similar to the proposal made by Biddle in 2000. said Morrow proposed “Alabama” become the state anthem and “Stars Fell on Alabama” become the state song, but much like the proposals before, it never came to be.

New Jersey and Maryland are among the only two states to not have an officially named state anthem. Maryland did once recognize “Maryland, My Maryland” set to the tune of “O’ Christmas Tree” as its official state anthem, but repealed the song in May 2021 because it was a “relic of the confederacy” according to the Governor at the time, Larry Hogan.

Tennessee has the most state songs, with 10 songs and one bicentennial rap officially making the cut in the state’s legislature. That list of songs includes: “My Homeland, Tennessee; When It’s Iris Time in Tennessee; My Tennessee; Tennessee Waltz; Rocky Top; Tennessee (1992); The Pride of Tennessee; A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap: 1796-1996; Smoky Mountain Rain; Tennessee (2012).”