State legislatures, who have nothing better to do, come up with all sorts of state symbols, including mottos, insects...and songs. A list of the official state songs can be found here.
As you look over the list, you'll discover that some states have problems making up their minds. New Hampshire, which gets along fine with a single motto - "live free or die" - has a whopping ten official state songs.
Tennessee has several songs, but like many other states, the multiple songs are meant to address multiple musical genres. You have your waltz ("Tennessee Waltz"), your bluegrass song ("Rocky Top"), your biometric song ("When it's iris time in Tennessee")...and your rap song.
Well, I should clarify. It's your BICENTENNIAL rap song. (Tennessee's bicentennial, not the nation's.) Written in 1996 "to provide a fun and easy way for citizens and students to learn and retain some Tennessee's history," this rap song exposes the gritty underbelly of Tennessee's major cities.
Well, actually it doesn't. Here's the first verse.
TENNE-, TENNE-, TENNES-SEE!
Oh, how proud we are of thee!
Volunteer State since 1812 -
Glad our fathers picked here to dwell!
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but the word "thee" usually doesn't appear in a rap song.
I have not yet found a recording of this piece, but I suspect that its relation to rap is similar to Taylor Swift's relation to country.
I hope that someday Tennessee decides to establish an official loopy hip-hop song. This is my candidate.
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