The Golden State

Words and music Creative Commons License 1987 by Jim Bearden

From the giant northern redwoods, down to the bay of San Diego,
From the hot depths of Death Valley, to Mount Whitney’s ice and snow,
From the clear blue of Lake Tahoe, down to the foggy Golden Gate,
We are California ‑‑ we are the Golden State.

Verse 1:
“Westward Ho, the wagons, boys, till we reach that pot of gold!”
So, from the days of the Forty‑niners, came the dreamers and the bold;
And some found gold, and some found stardom, and some found silicon,
And some have found new knowledge, for the future to build on.

Verse 2:
From the time the first Americans came down its rocky coast,
To the latest southeast Asians, our state has been the host
To people of all races, all nations, and all creeds,
And like a coat of many colors, they’ve enriched us with their deeds.


Verse 3:
You may know that the largest living things grow only in this state;
Likewise the tallest living things ‑‑ the coast redwoods standing so straight;
But when you hear that the oldest living things are in California, too,
‘Tis well that you may wonder to what these blessings all are due.

Verse 4:
An embarrassment of riches, many the kind you cannot buy;
From the great Pacific coastline, to our “Sierra Mountain High”;
But as with all great gifts, the responsibilities are greater, too:
Think of all we’ve been entrusted with in everything you do.


Verse 5:
Of course, no place is perfect, and we’re no exception to that rule;
And anyone who’ll tell you different is a con man or a fool.
We’ve got floods, and we’ve got forest fires, we’ve got droughts, and we’ve got quakes,
And the morning freeway traffic could give anyone the shakes.

Verse 6:
You can ask any Californian about the problems on that list,
And he’ll probably be able to name some bad ones that you’ve missed;
But as you talk about the problems, and all the things that aren’t so great,
Just try to find one who’d want to live in any other state.


Verse 7:
In a fantasy, it came to me, how it all could have come about;
How the Lord created all the earth, and then sat down to think it out:
“What if I should put, in one place, some of the greatest things I can make,
And then see how these new humans do, when there’s so much at stake?”

Verse 8:
So He filled our state with wonders, but we’ve filled it with people, too;
And you might say you could rate the human race by how well we all do
At saving our state’s beauties, and the spirit that we’ve known,
For all future generations: these are really theirs to own.


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