“On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” Is The Official State Song Of Indiana. The Song Was Written and composed by American songwriter Paul Dresser, it was published by the Tin Pan Alley firm of Howley, Haviland, and Company in October 1897. The Indiana State Song lyrics of the ballad reminisce about life near Dresser’s childhood home by the Wabash River in Indiana, United States.
The song remained popular for decades, and the Indiana General Assembly adopted it as the official State Song Of Indiana on March 14, 1913. The song was the basis for a 1923 film of the same title. Its longtime popularity led to the emergence of several lyrical versions, including an 1898 anti-war song and a Swedish version that was a number-one hit. The State Song Of Indiana song was composed during a transitory time in musical history when songs first began to be recorded for the phonograph.
Indiana State Song was among the earliest pieces of popular music to be recorded. In 1925, legislation was passed that required Indiana schools to teach the State Song Of Indiana to their students, and twenty-thousand copies of the song were distributed to the state’s public schools. Indiana State Song is often played at government ceremonial events including the Governor’s inauguration.
The Following Are The Lyrics To The Song:
Round my Indiana homestead wave the cornfields,
In the distance loom the woodlands clear and cool.
Often times my thoughts revert to scenes of childhood.
Where I first received my lessons, nature’s school.
But one thing is missing in the picture,
Without her face, it seems so incomplete.
I long to see my mother in the doorway
As she stood there years ago her boy to greet.
Oh, the moonlight’s fair tonight along the Wabash
From the fields there comes the breath of new mown hay.
Thro’ the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming,
On the banks of the Wabash, far away.
Many years have passed since I strolled by the river,
Arm in arm with sweetheart Mary by my side.
It was there I tried to tell her that I loved her,
It was there I begged of her to be my bride.
Long years have passed since I strolled thro’ the churchyard
She’s sleeping there my angel Mary dear.
I loved her but she thought I didn’t mean it.
Still, I’d give my future were she only here.