She said John E. Good, of Sissonville, represented to her the spirit and people of West Virginia. "His love for the hills, his honesty, pride, strength, gentility and humility are what inspired me to write the song."
The commission selected the song as the centennial song, which a Charleston Gazette article said could be sung as a rousing march or as a hymn, depending on the tempo.
Perhaps it was in gratitude for his military service that lawmakers adopted Col. Julian G. Hearne's song, "West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home" as the state's first official song in 1947.
Hearne was a Wheeling lawyer for about a decade before World War II, in which he served as an infantry officer in the South Pacific. He retired from the military in 1960.
Of course, the best-known song about West Virginia, in state and out, is John Denver's "Country Roads." If Dreama Denver has her way, it would become the state's fourth official song.
Denver, who founded the Denver Foundation in Southern West Virginia with her late husband, actor Bob Denver, has been promoting the song. At her urging, Delegate Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, introduced a bill this past legislative session to add "Country Roads" to the list of state songs.
The resolution passed the House on voice vote on the last day of the session but was not taken up in the Senate.
Reach Rosalie Earle at ea...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.