More than half of Tennessee’s official cultural symbols are symbols of the arts, and half of its symbols of the arts are songs. Not surprisingly, it is the only state to designate songwriting the official state art form.
|The Pride of Tennessee, Tennessee Waltz, When It’s Iris Time in Tennessee
|Smoky Mountain Rain
|Tennessee (by Vivian Rorie)
|The Tennessee in Me
|Public School Song
|U.S. Bicentennial Song
|Fly Eagle, Fly!
|U.S. Bicentennial March Song
|The Tennessee Salute
|Bicentennial Rap Song
|A Tennessee Bicentennial Rap
|Bicentennial School Song
|My Home Will Always Be in Tennessee
|Fife and Drum Corps
|Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps
|Tennessee Theatre, Knoxville
|Production at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area
|Oh Tennessee, My Tennessee
|Who Are We
|Cowboy Poet Laureate
|Christian Poet Laureate
|Colonel Hugh X. Lewis
|“Tennessee Treasures” and “Tennessee Treasures Too,” by Michael Sloan
|H. R. Lovell
|Jamboree and Crafts Festival
|The Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival – House Joint Resolution 24
Rather than wade through this hopeless mess, let me just mention my two favorites. Actually, I already mentioned songwriting. The other is the official fine art, porcelain painting.
he designation honors Blue Ridge pottery, a type of dishware manufactured by Southern Potteries, Inc. from the 1930s until 1957. Blue Ridge pottery was famed for its underglaze decoration and colorful, folksy patterns. Each piece was hand-painted, making it unique.
At one time, Blue Ridge pottery was the best-selling dinnerware in the United States. After World War II, it had to compete with lower-priced imports and inexpensive plastic dinnerware. However, Blue Ridge pottery remains a popular collectors item.
On second thought, there are a couple state songs worth commenting on. One song is titled “The Tennessee in Me.” I haven’t checked out the lyrics, but, judging by Tennessee’s political symbols, it sounds like a song that might have been written for Charles Manson. “Copperhead Road” has been described as a country rock anthem about a man making moonshine and later growing marijuana in Tennessee. Making moonshine and growing dope is a huge improvement over dropping bombs on people. The song even inspired an article in the propaganda rag Rolling Stone.
Tennessee is also one of the few states with an official painting. In fact, it has two official paintings, “Tennessee Treasures” and “Tennessee Treasures Too,” both by Michael Sloan. Both paintings depict Tennessee symbols. However, Sloan painted them before Tennessee adopted its official sniper rifle.