words by F.B. Silverwood, music by A.F. Frankenstein
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I love you, California, you're the greatest state of all.
I love you in the winter, summer, spring and in the fall.
I love your fertile valleys; your dear mountains I adore.
I love your grand old ocean and I love her rugged shore.
Where the snow crowned Golden Sierras
Keep their watch o'er the valleys bloom,
It is there I would be in our land by the sea,
Every breeze bearing rich perfume.
It is here nature gives of her rarest. It is Home Sweet Home to me,
And I know when I die I shall breathe my last sigh
For my sunny California.
I love your red-wood forests - love your fields of yellow grain.
I love your summer breezes and I love your winter rain.
I love you, land of flowers; land of honey, fruit and wine.
I love you, California; you have won this heart of mine.
I love your old gray Missions - love your vineyards stretching far.
I love you, California, with your Golden Gate ajar.
I love your purple sun-sets, love your skies of azure blue.
I love you, California; I just can't help loving you.
I love you, Catalina, you are very dear to me.
I love you, Tamalpais, and I love Yosemite.
I love you, Land of Sunshine, Half your beauties are untold.
I loved you in my childhood, and I'll love you when I'm old.
The California State Song, "I Love You, California", was written by Francis Bernard Silverwood (1863-1924), a Los Angeles clothier, merchant and businessman, in 1913. The music was composed by Abraham Franklin Frankenstein (1873-1934), then conductor of the Orpheum Theatre Orchestra. The production was published by Hatch and Loveland, Music Printers, Los Angeles, California, and copyrighted by F.B. Silverwood in 1913.
Opera Star Mary Garden
Courtesy Andrea’s Cantabile-Subito
Later in 1913, the song was introduced by Opera Star Mary Garden, associated with the Chicago Grand Opera at that time. "Mary Garden stopped Grand Opera to make this California song famous," read the notices virtually ensuring the popularity and success of the new song. The renowned soprano wrote on Alexandria Hotel stationery,
"Dear Mr. Silverwood:
I am proud to be the first to sing your most beautiful song in public--and I hope for it a wonderful success here in California and everywhere!
As the song's popularity grew, it was declared the official song of expositions held in San Francisco and San Diego in 1915, and was played aboard the first ship to go through the Panama Canal, the SS Ancon.
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