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"C" is for "Carolina," the State Song

South Carolina from A to Z logo

“C” is for “Carolina.” State song. The state’s oldest official state song is “Carolina,” with words by Henry Timrod set to music by Anne Custis Burgess. “Carolina” was one of Charleston poet Henry Timrod’s most popular patriotic Civil War poems in which he called upon the people of South Carolina to rise up and defend their state against Northern invaders. Anne Custis Burgess, of Mayesville in Sumter County, earned a degree in music from Converse and later taught at Winthrop College. Her setting of Timrod’s “Carolina” received its first public performance in 1905 and was published the following year. The South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution presented a memorial to the General Assembly requesting that “Carolina” be adopted as the official state song. The General Assembly adopted it as the official state anthem on February 11, 1911.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.