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A New Toast to the Old North State: Part I

Did you know that North Carolina has an official state toast?

Neither did we. But at the Welcome Program for the 2013 Squire Summer Writing Residency, registrants broke into small groups to take a stab at rewriting stanzas for “The Old North State Toast.”

First, here’s the original toast:

The Old North State Toast

Here’s to the land of the Long Leaf Pine,
The Summer Land, where the sun doth shine;
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great—
Here’s to “Down Home,” the Old North State!

Here’s to the land of the cotton bloom white,
Where the scuppernong perfumes the breeze at night,
Where the soft Southern moss and jessamine mate,
‘Neath the murmuring pines of the Old North State!

Here’s to the land where the galax grows,
Where the rhododendron’s rosette glows;
Where soars Mount Mitchell’s summit great,
In the “Land of the Sky,” in the Old North State!

Here’s to the land where maidens are fair,
Where friends are true, and cold hearts are rare,
The near land, the dear land, whatever fate,
The blest land, the best land, the Old North State!

Got a feel for the meter and rhyme? Here”s one of several new stanzas written last night on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Here’s to the land where the waves collide
Vacationers come from far and wide
With shrimp and crabs piled high on plates
We welcome you, mate, to the Old North State!

(This stanza penned by John Clark, Charles Fiore, Buffy Holt, Carol Phillips, and Linda Thomas)