‘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.