STATE SONG: There's a state bird, a state flower, a state fish and even a state soil, but Michigan has never had one official state song. Unofficially, the state song is "Michigan, My Michigan," the first version of which was written by Winifred Lee Brent of Detroit in 1862 to the tune of "O Tannenbaum." According to the Department of Natural Resources, the Civil War's battle of Fredericksburg inspired Ms. Brent to write the song. The lyrics were rewritten in subsequent years.
In 1937, the Legislature by concurrent resolution declared "My Michigan" to be an official, but not the official, state song. It never seemed to gain traction though.
Now Rep. Frank Foster (R-Petoskey) has a different take. Mr. Foster introduced HB 4263 on Thursday to make "Michigan Man," by Mike Ridley of Iron River, the official state song.
No offense to Representative Foster, and though I like the song, making this THE official State song, and thus diminishing one that commemorates the sacrifice of Michiganders who 1. Saved the Union; 2. Fought for their State; 3. Ushered in a new birth of freedom for all Americans is not a good idea. If we're going to enact THE official song, let's keep faith with the thousands of soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line, with their families and friends and others who felt the pangs of sacrifice, and their descendants.