‘Southern Nights’ designated Louisiana’s state cultural song

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A man cycles along Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 26, 2020. – New Orleans, the Louisiana city known as the “Big Easy” famed for its jazz and nightlife, has become an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic gripping the United States. The southern US state now has 2,305 confirmed cases and 83 deaths. New Orleans alone accounts for 997 of the cases and 46 of the deaths. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30203169A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30203169A/AFP via Getty Images)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is reshuffling its official state songs list.

Lawmakers voted to add “Southern Nights” by New Orleans native Allen Toussaint as the state’s official cultural song, while keeping “You Are My Sunshine,” co-written by former Gov. Jimmy Davis, in its long-held place as the state’s official song. Toussaint’s song, according to lawmakers, was inspired by time spent in Terrebonne Parish.

But the House and Senate struck the song “Give Me Louisiana” by Doralice Fontane from the state’s official songs list. That tune, adopted decades ago as an official state song, referenced “old plantation days” and “the state of snowy cotton” in its list of the reasons that Louisiana is “the sweetest of all states.”

The bill by Rep. Vincent Pierre, a Lafayette Democrat, adding “Southern Nights” and scrapping “Give Me Louisiana” was sent to the governor’s desk with a 100-1 House vote and 36-0 Senate vote.

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The bill is filed as House Bill 351.

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