“The Longleaf Pine” Anthem
In 1904, Raleigh resident Leonora Martin, at the request of Dr. J. Allison Hodges, wrote the following toast for a banquet at the organization meeting of the North Carolina Society:
‘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!”
Nearly three decades later, Mary Burke Kerr of Clinton added three verses and set it to music, dedicating it to the children of North Carolina. On May 21, 1957, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the song referred to as “A Toast” as the official toast to the State of North Carolina.*
In 2001, North Carolina native Phillip Fisher composed new music for “A Toast”, adapting the lyrics and titling his anthem “The Longleaf Pine©”. The North Carolina Symphony selected “The Longleaf Pine©” as the featured North Carolina song for its 2003-2004 and 2017-2018 education concert series where thousands of students, accompanied by the Symphony, performed it at the Symphony’s many concerts across the state. The song has since been performed at select official and ceremonial events.
*From information appearing in the June, 2008 issue of “Our State” magazine excerpted from an article by Henry E. Litchford in “The State” magazine, August 9, 1958.
The North Carolina Symphony Performance
Permission to Use Recording and Sheet Music
Any person or organization wishing to perform the ceremonial anthem, “The Longleaf Pine©”, at a civic or patriotic ceremony, a funeral or memorial service honoring a North Carolinian who has made a significant contribution to the State, or any similar public event may download the choral and solo recording and/or sheet music for piano and voice, provided you:
- Notify The Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society of the date and location of the event, briefly describe the event where the song will be played or performed, and state your name (and the name of the organization, if any), your email address and telephone number;
- Give proper credit to its authorship (e.g. “The Longleaf Pine by Phillip T. Fisher, lyrics adapted from The State Toast”) in any program, bulletin or other written description of the event where the song is played or performed; and
- Do not, without prior written permission from The Society, use or perform “The Longleaf Pine©” for any commercial purpose.
Download Recordings and Sheet Music
for “The Longleaf Pine©”…
For an MP3 recording performed by a youth choir,
For an MP3 recording performed by a vocalist with piano accompaniment,
For a PDF of sheet music for choir with piano accompaniment,
For a PDF of sheet music for solo vocalist with piano accompaniment,