“Washington, My Home” (sometimes stylized “Washington My Home”) is the state song of Washington, in the United States. It was composed in 1951 by Helen Davis and set to music by Stuart Churchill under the name “America, My Home”. Subsequently, retitled and rewritten as “Washington, My Home”, it was made the state song in 1959 by an act of the Washington State Legislature. An earlier anthem, “Washington Beloved”, was declared the state song in 1909 by a ceremonial resolution of the state legislature.
“Washington Beloved” was written by Edmond Meany for the University of Washington’s 1906 songbook. Penned in four verses, the melody was composed by Reginald De Koven who agreed to set Meany’s words to music for $100, which was paid by the Associated Students of the University of Washington. It was debuted by the University of Washington Glee Club on December 13, 1907. The following month, “Washington Beloved” was also performed during dedication ceremonies of Lorado Taft’s statue of George Washington at the University of Washington campus in Seattle, following orations by Meany and French ambassador Jean Jules Jusserand.
While Meany did not intend for “Washington Beloved” to be anything more than a collegiate song, a movement started to establish it as the state anthem, the lyrics being equally suitable for such use and the composer – de Koven – sufficiently prominent.
“Washington Beloved” was declared the Washington state anthem on March 11, 1909, by concurrent resolution of the two chambers of the Washington state legislature sitting in joint session, the act signed by Governor Marion E. Hay on March 18 of that year. Ten members of the legislature, all from Eastern Washington, abstained from voting on the resolution due to the song’s lyrics which referred to “purple banners”, purple being one of the school colors of the University of Washington, rival to the eastern-situated Washington State College. Concurrent resolutions in joint session are only ceremonial expressions of the will of the legislature so the establishment of “Washington Beloved” was not codified as state law.
In 1935, the Washington Emergency Relief Administration printed and distributed copies of “Washington Beloved” to all of the state’s children. Despite these and other efforts, however, the song fell into disuse.
Prior to World War II, the Theodore Presser Company obtained distribution rights to “Washington Beloved” from the John Church Company and renamed it “Loyal and True” with the intent of licensing it as a generic school song for use by universities, though it did not gain popularity in this incarnation either.