Edwards signs bill deeming ‘Southern Nights’ as Louisiana’s state cultural song

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BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — A bill that would designate “Southern Nights” by New Orleans native Allen Toussaint as the state’s official cultural song has been signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards.

Bill ACT 471—HB 351 was proposed by Lafayette Democrat Rep. Vincent Pierre, who wanted to add “Southern Nights” and scrap “Give Me Louisiana” was sent to the governor’s desk with a 100-1 House vote and 36-0 Senate vote in early June.

Lawmakers say the song “Give Me Louisiana” by Doralice Fontane was a tune adopted decades ago and it referenced “old plantation days” and “the state of snowy cotton” in its list of the reasons that Louisiana is “the sweetest of all states.”

“You Are My Sunshine,” which was co-written by former Gov. Jimmy Davis, will remain the state’s official song. Toussaint’s song was reportedly inspired by time spent in Terrebonne Parish.

According to Netstate.com, Louisiana has adopted six-state songs since 1932. The state has three official state songs, one official state environmental song and one official state march song, and the official state song for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita recovery effort.

  • State Song: “Song of Louisiana,” by Vashti Robertson Stopher
  • State March Song: “Louisiana, My Home Sweet Home,” by Sammie McKenzie, Lou Lavoy, and Castro Carazo
  • State Cultural Song: “Southern Nights,” by Allen Toussaint
  • State Song: “You Are My Sunshine,” by Jimmie H. Davis and Charles Mitchell
  • State Environmental Song: “The Gifts of Earth,” by Frances LeBeau
  • State song for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita recovery effort: “Come Back to Louisiana,” by Jay Chevalier and Bobby Attwood

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