Nevadans joined together Thursday to set a world record for the most people singing a state song at once.
While we were successful — Yay, Nevada! — I must admit I was somewhat alarmed by the amount of people who needed help with the words. I even heard one person saying something like, “There are way more words than I thought.”
Those are called verses, for the record. And there are two of them, along with the chorus, which is what most people refer to when referring to the state song. I’ll try to give people a break. I know some of you moved here later and have since picked up the titular line, “Home means Nevada.” Thank you for that effort. While others learned it in school and either forgot the verses or only learned the chorus.
Not everyone went to a three-room schoolhouse in Ruby Valley where we took those kinds of things seriously. Two moms volunteered as our music teachers and taught us the important ballads, like “Home Means Nevada,” and all the official songs of the Armed Forces ....
Sensing maybe they were turning us into nerds, they also did their best to make sure we could fit in with contemporary society. Their way of doing this was to teach us “popular” dance moves mimicking pushing a broom and lifting grain sacks over our shoulders to the tune of the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira,” which was released nearly a decade earlier.
(Please remember this little anecdote when you see me awkwardly trying to navigate social situations, and have some sympathy.)
But for all you who missed this childhood experience, here are all the words to “Home Means Nevada.”
Let’s sing it together ... while pretending to sweep.
Home Means Nevada
by Bertha Raffetto
“Way out in the land of the setting sun,
Where the wind blows wild and free,
There’s a lovely spot, just the only one
That means home sweet home to me.
If you follow the old Kit Carson trail,
Until desert meets the hills,
Oh you certainly will agree with me,
It’s the place of a thousand thrills.”
“Home means Nevada
Home means the hills,
Home means the sage and the pine.
Out by the Truckee, silvery rills,
Out where the sun always shines,
Here is the land which I love the best,
Fairer than all I can see.
Deep in the heart of the golden west
Home means Nevada to me.”
“Whenever the sun at the close of day,
Colors all the western sky,
Oh my heart returns to the desert grey
And the mountains tow’ring high.
Where the moon beams play in shadowed glen,
With the spotted fawn and doe,
All the live long night until morning light,
Is the loveliest place I know.”