‘Bluebonnets’ For Texas

posted in: Paean 10
A field of bluebonnets near Marble Falls, Texas. Image: Wikipedia.


The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. I just learned that.

A few hours ago, I learned there was a shooting in Texas today. Today is Sunday. The shooter opened fire inside a church in Sutherland Springs. Twenty-six people are dead, many more injured. By morning, I’m sure that number will change, which is to say the number will rise. The number will sink into further sadness and then it will be lost to the next news cycle. This is madness.

Like most states, Texas has a state song. But it also has a flower song.

In 1933, Texas adopted “Bluebonnets” by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett as the “official state flower song.” (This was House Concurrent Resolution No. 24 of the 43rd Legislature, in case you’re wondering.) The song’s lyrics are beautiful. I haven’t looked up the tune, yet. If it’s too tender, if the melody sounds less like a celebration and more like a eulogy, I’ll lose it.

For now, I’ll just read the words to Texas’s “official state flower song” and maybe you want to read them, too.

by Julia D. Booth and Lora C. Crockett (1933)

When the pastures are green in the springtime
And the birds are singing their sonnets,
You may look to the hills and the valleys
And they’re covered with lovely Bluebonnets.
Blue is the emblem of loyalty,
They’re as blue as the deep, deep sea,
Their smiling faces bring gladness,
For they bloom for you and for me.
Bluebonnets, so gorgeous and stately,
In your mantle of blue and of green,
In the spring when you’re in your full glory,
You’re the loveliest sight ever seen.
You’re beautiful when you sway in the sunshine,
You look like waves of the sea,
Ah, Texas was wise in her choice of a flower,
So we offer our homage to thee.
Bluebonnets, blue lovely Bluebonnets,
More beautiful than all the rest.
Texas chose you for her flower,
And we love you best, Bluebonnets.


10 Responses

  1. Mary Lynn
    | Reply

    Mary, I looked for you while walking the quilt show Friday. Thank you for posting this, Sutherland Springs is 10 miles from my home and it has been a surreal day here. I don’t think anyone I know was there, but I am so incredibly sad for this little community and all the families affected. Thank you for thinking of our Texas.

  2. Carol
    | Reply

    My son and his family live in Texas. We spend a lot of time there. My heart is just breaking over this tragedy.

  3. Pat
    | Reply

    No words, just tears.

  4. Peggie Riccio
    | Reply

    What a lovely tribute, Mary, to those poor souls who lost their lives, and to their families and friends who knew not what yesterday would bring. Thank you.

  5. Barbara
    | Reply

    So very, very sad.

  6. Jeanann
    | Reply

    Mary, thank you for posting these lyrics.Prayers for all involved in this tragedy.

  7. Susan Davies
    | Reply

    The pastors daughter Annabelle was killed . She was fourteen. My granddaughter Annabelle is almost 14. These things are affecting me more and more. The last school shooting was close to my grandkids and the shooting in Las Vegas involved friends of my family. Eventually it will affect us all directly.2h8p

  8. Summer
    | Reply

    I wrote both of my US senators and my US representative today about gun legislation, and I plan to write to my representatives in the state congress tomorrow. If mentally ill people or people convicted of domestic violence don’t have access to guns, then they can’t kill people with guns. It’s that simple! We have to start talking about the continuance of mass shootings in our nation and start doing something now. Yes, people are grieving, but it seems all the time someone is grieving because mass shootings are EVERY DAY. Let your voice be heard whether you live in Texas, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Columbine, or anywhere. Your voice counts, so don’t forget to vote tomorrow, Tuesday, November 7th!

  9. Linda
    | Reply

    There is no answerto the tragedies that are happening across our country..
    I find that when sorrow touches our hearts the most sometimes music can bring a little peace.
    This is a beautiful song perhaps it will help your heart.

    Gulf Coast Highway
    Nanci Griffith
    Gulf Coast Highway
    He worked the rails
    He worked the rice fields
    With their cool dark wells
    He worked the oil rigs in the
    Gulf of Mexico
    The only thing we’ve ever owned
    Is this old house here by the road
    And when he dies he says he’ll catch
    Some blackbird’s wing
    Then he will fly away to Heaven come
    Some sweet blue bonnet spring
    She walked through springtime
    When I was home
    The days were sweet
    The nights were warm
    The seasons change, the jobs would
    Come, the flowers fade
    This old house felt so alone
    When the work took me away
    And when she dies she says, she’ll
    Catch some blackbirds wing
    Then she will fly away to Heaven come
    Some sweet blue bonnet spring
    Highway 90
    The jobs are gone
    We tend our garden
    We set the sun
    This is the only place on earth
    Blue bonnets grow
    Once a year they come and go
    At this old house here by the road
    And when we die we say, we’ll
    Catch some blackbirds wing
    Then we will fly away to Heaven come
    Some sweet blue bonnet spring
    And when we die we say, we’ll
    Catch some blackbirds wing
    We will fly away together come
    Some sweet blue bonnet spring
    Songwriters: Danny Flowers / James Brown / Nanci Griffith
    Gulf Coast Highway lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

  10. Nancy
    | Reply

    The lyrics are beautiful for both songs mentioned (in Mary’s blog and Linda’s reply), I have been a Nanci Griffith van for years. There are no words that can express my feelings of sorrow for those who have lost friends and loved ones in any of the senseless tragedies we have seen over the past few years,

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