I'm forwarding this with permission. Someone was trying to track down a
song that was used to help teach Iowa's counties. After the query was
initially in the paper, the words came in, but not the tune. Does
anybody recognize this or use it?
Sarah S. Uthoff
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Subject: Fwd: Name that tune
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Sarah, this came from the woman who had initially made the inquiry.
From: Holden, Julia K. <jholden@...
Sent: Wed, 10 May 2006 10:18:07 -0400
Subject: Name that tune
I wanted to pass on an article from:
The Washington Evening Journal.....Tuesday, Feb. 26, 1980
Who Knows The Tune?
Last week, at the beginning of a letter to the editor o the subject of soil
conservation, Willard McCracken of Ainsworth quoted a few lines from the
beginning of the song he had heard years ago in country school. The song went
on to name out all the 99 counties of Iowa; it was used as an aid to
Now comes Earl Dickinson of Brighton with a copy of the song and a question:
what was the tune to which it was sung?
Earl says he has tried for years to discover the tune without success. He has
inquired of the old-timers at Mt. Pleasant's Old Threshers' Reunion. he has
questioned elderly former country school teachers, he has queried local
historians....nobody seems to know.
We're printing the full text here and ask our readers (for our sake and Mr.
Dickinson's) what was the tune you sang it to when you went to country school?
SONG OF COUNTIES OF IOWA
Our home is in Iowa
Westward toward the setting sun.
Just between two mighty rivers
Where the crystal waters run.
It has towns and it has cities,
it has many noble streams,
It has just ninety-nine counties
And we'll now repeat their names.
Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson
Where the Spirit Lake you see.
Emmett, also Winnebago
Worth in near Lake Albert Lea.
Mitchell, Howard, Winneshick
And Allamakee, so fine,
Makes eleven northern counties
On the Minnesota line.
Clayton, Dubuque, Jackson, Clinton,
Together with Scott and Muscatine.
Lee Louisa and Des Moines
On the eastern side are seen.
Van Buren, Davis, Appanoose,
Decatur, Ringgold, Wayne we spy;
Taylor, Page, and Fremont
On the Missouri border lie.
Pottowattamie, Harrison, Mills,
Monroe, Woodbury, Plymouth, Sioux.
Are all the counties around
The borders of our state we view.
Next we name O'Brien
Palo Alto, Kossuth, Clay-
Hancock, Cerro Gerdo, Floyd.
Then to Cherokee we stray.
Fayette, Bremer, Butler, Franklin,
Next upon the map we see,
Wright and Humboldt, Pochontas,
Buena Vista, Cherokee.
Ida, Sac, Calhoun, Webster,
Hamilton with names so rare.
Next is Hardin, Grundy, Black Hawk,
Then Buchanan, Delaware.
Jones, Linn Benton, Tama, Marshall,
Story, Crawford, Carroll, Boone.
Let us not our patience weary,
We will have them all too soon.
Cedar, Greene, Johnson, Iowa
And Poweshiek by the same:
Next to Jasper, Polk and Dallas
Next to name of Presidential fame.
Guthrie, Audubon and Shelby,
Cass and Madison, Adair,
Warren, Marion and Mahaska--
Jefferson and Keokuk are there.
Wapello, Monroe and Washington
And Henry we have missed.
Lucas, Clarke, Union, Adams
And Montgomery fills the list.
Thank you for helping me with this. I would so love to sing the whole song to
my uncle. What a treasure to share with all the country schoolhouses in Iowa!
Looking forward to hearing from you.