“I’ll Leave My Heart in Tennessee” is now an official state song.
Governor Lee signed the legislation officially designating “I’ll Leave My Heart in Tennessee” an official state song on March 1. The legislation was carried by State Sen. Paul Bailey (R-Sparta) and State Rep. John Windle (D-Livingston). The votes in the House and Senate were unanimous with the exception of one House member voting present.
The hymn “Amazing Grace” was approved as an official state song by the Tennessee General Assembly this week. On Thursday, House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) signed the bill.
The language of the bill itself explained the background and significance of the hymn. “Amazing Grace” was originally a poem penned by John Newton, an 18th century Christian minister who walked away from life as a slave ship captain. The poem, later set to music by American composer William Walker, was inspired by his newfound faith in God following his near-death experience while at sea.