Virginia Might Be Singing the Blues

(Newport News-AP) -- Despite six years of work by a state panel, efforts to choose a new state song are fading. Eight finalists have been chosen. But there's no winner. And the subcommittee's work is scheduled to end July 1. That would leave Virginia as the nation's only state without a state song. The subcommittee used a contest to get new submissions. But a lawsuit, copyright issues, and politicking held up progress.

State Senator Emmett Hanger is pledging to carry the work forward on a volunteer basis. He says he still hopes to have a song to present to the General Assembly by next year.

Virginia's old state song was "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny." A free-born black youth wrote it. But it was written in a different era, and racial references in the song proved problematic.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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