Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Arizona's Official Anthem, 1901

On March 16, 1901, by way of Act No. 49, the Arizona Territorial legislature adopted an official anthem of the Territory of Arizona. Here, faithfully transcribed in all its sun-kissed glory, are the lyrics.


O, Arizona, Sun-kissed Land; 
Thy day of birth is near at hand;
Upon they mountains' rugged crest,
They native sons still call thee blest;
Within thy valleys' broad domain,
In love, thy foster children reign;
Fair Land of gold and sunny peace,
Of flower and vine and rich increase,
Of cloud-kissed hills and wooded wold,
Of countless mines and wealth untold.


Hail: all hail to Arizona:
Sound her praise from sea to sea:
Land of sun and summer showers,
Land of grain and gold and flowers,
In Columbia's diadem
Of jewels rare thou'lt be the gem,
Hail to Arizona, the Sun-kissed Land.

Primeval stands thy forest grand,
The ancient Zuni's fatherland,
The plain and lofty mountain round,
Were many moons his hunting ground,
Unbosomed in thy sun's bright ray
His olden ruins slow decay;
Where once the tribes of Ishamel's band
Marauding wandered o'er the land,
The mighty "Phoenix" rose to fame
From the ashes of destruction's flame.

Hoary with age, thou still art young,
Land of renown with praise unsung;
Nature with a master hand
Hath carved thy wondrous Canyon Grand;
Magician-like her wand she plied,
And lo: thy Forest Petrified;
From craggy peak of Castle Dome,
From Copper Queen to rich Jerome,
She pours her lavish treasure forth
In molten streams of priceless worth.

Not all thy riches, glorious Land,
Are due alone to Nature's hand,
For man with unremitting toil
Brings forth a bounty from the soil;
From vine-clad hills and limpid streams,
From fruitful vales where plenty teems,
O'er verdant fields he points with pride,
Where flocks and herd are scattered wide,
To schools where art and skill combine,
To homes in love and truth enshrined.

Proud Land, thy rock-ribbed hills record
The history of a mighty horde;
The onward tread of centuries old
Hath left its imprint strong and bold
On the hearts and lives of thy brave sons,
In the winsome grace of thy fairer ones;
Thy Rider's Rough, a valiant band,
With loyal hearts forever stand
To guard the flag that floats above
Thy homes where reign content and love.

(End anthem.)

The statue passing the adoption of the above anthem also mandated that trustees of the school districts were to furnish copies to all schools to allow Arizona's students to learn and perform the song "as part of the musical exercises of their schools."  

The "day of birth" mentioned in the first stanza refers, of course, to the optimism towards approaching statehood. Due to the "Indian troubles," statehood wasn't granted until several years later in 1912. 

Note that the final verse pays homage to the Rough Riders, of which Buckey O'Neill was a member. In the same legislative session, it was also enacted that the Roosevelt Rough Riders Association would be permitted to commemorate the Arizona contingent of the First United States Volunteer Cavalry - better known as the Rough Riders - with a medallion, inscribed with the names of all the Rough Riders who perished in the Spanish-American War, in the rotunda of the Territorial capitol building. 

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