Which song was originally designated as the state song of Utah?

Travel Destinations

By Daniela Howard

The State Song of Utah

Every state in the United States has its own set of unique symbols that represent its culture, history, and values. One of these symbols is the state song, which is a musical composition that reflects the spirit of the state and its people. Utah, one of the western states of the U.S., has its own state song that highlights the state’s natural beauty and the love of its people for their homeland.

The First Designation of a State Song in Utah

In 1931, Utah became the first state in the U.S. to officially designate a state song. The song was "Utah, This is the Place," which was composed by Sam and Gary Francis, two brothers from Ogden, Utah. The song was chosen by the Utah State Legislature as the official state song, and it remained so for over 50 years.

The Contest to Choose the State Song

In the late 1990s, the state of Utah decided to replace "Utah, This is the Place" as the state song and launched a statewide contest to choose a new song. The contest was open to all Utah residents, and the winner would receive a $1,000 prize and have their song become the official state song of Utah.

The Winning Song in the Contest

The winning song in the contest was "Utah, We Love Thee," which was composed by Evan Stephens, a well-known composer and music director in Utah. The song was chosen by a panel of judges and a public vote, and it was officially designated as the state song of Utah on April 29, 2003.

How "Utah, We Love Thee" Became the State Song

After winning the contest, "Utah, We Love Thee" had to go through the legislative process to become the official state song. The Utah State Legislature passed a bill to make the song the state song of Utah, and it was signed into law by Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt.

The Origins of "Utah, We Love Thee"

"Utah, We Love Thee" was not a new song when it won the contest. It was originally written by Evan Stephens in 1895 for the Utah Statehood Centennial Celebration, and it was performed by a choir of 4,000 singers. The song was well-received and became a popular patriotic song in Utah.

The Lyrics of "Utah, We Love Thee"

The lyrics of "Utah, We Love Thee" express the love and appreciation of Utah residents for their state. The song talks about the beauty of Utah’s mountains, valleys, and streams, as well as the hard work and sacrifice of its pioneers and residents.

The Melody of "Utah, We Love Thee"

The melody of "Utah, We Love Thee" is similar to that of "America the Beautiful," a well-known patriotic song in the U.S. The song has a simple and catchy melody that is easy to sing and remember.

Controversies Surrounding "Utah, We Love Thee"

There have been controversies surrounding "Utah, We Love Thee" as the state song of Utah. Some people have criticized the song for being too religious and not inclusive enough of Utah’s diverse population. Others have argued that the song’s lyrics are outdated and do not reflect the modern values of Utah residents.

Attempts to Change the State Song of Utah

There have been several attempts to change the state song of Utah in recent years. Some people have suggested replacing "Utah, We Love Thee" with a more inclusive and modern song that better reflects the diversity of Utah’s population. However, none of these attempts have been successful, and "Utah, We Love Thee" remains the official state song of Utah.

Other State Symbols of Utah

In addition to the state song, Utah has many other symbols that represent its culture and history. These include the state bird (California gull), the state flower (sego lily), and the state tree (quaking aspen).

Conclusion: "Utah, We Love Thee" Today

Today, "Utah, We Love Thee" remains the official state song of Utah, despite the controversies and attempts to change it. The song is still widely recognized and sung by Utah residents, and it continues to reflect the love and appreciation of Utah’s unique beauty and history.

Photo of author

Daniela Howard

Daniela Howard, a dedicated Harpers Ferry resident, serves as the foremost expert on West Virginia. Over a decade in travel writing, her work for Family Destinations Guide offers in-depth knowledge of the state's hidden treasures, such as fine dining, accommodations, and captivating sights. Her engaging articles vividly depict family-friendly activities, making your West Virginia journey truly memorable.

Leave a Comment