I read with interest the top 100 songs about Texas in Friday’s edition of dfw.com. I was surprised that the state song, Texas, Our Texas, wasn’t included.
The song was written in 1924 by a Fort Worth man, William J. Marsh, and was chosen as the state song in a statewide competition.
Marsh taught music at St. Ignatius Grade School once a week and also at Our Lady of Victory Academy.
In class, we would sing Texas, Our Texas regularly. It’s a great song about our state.
There was once a drive in the Legislature to replace the song with The Eyes of Texas. At that time, Marsh was very ill in St. Joseph Hospital.
A TV crew went to the hospital and asked Marsh his thoughts on changing the state song to The Eyes of Texas. Of course, he didn’t want it changed.
I remember that the reporter asked him to sing Texas, Our Texas. As he started to sing, he broke down in tears. After that, there was no more talk about changing the state song.
— John J. Byrne, Arlington
Thanks for including my favorite Texas singer and songwriter, Brian Burns, in the list of the top 100 Texas songs, although I would have ranked him much higher. (See No. 72, I’ve Been Everywhere ... in Texas.)
His haunting recording of Travis’ Letter, about the fall of the Alamo, is featured when he appears in Texas history programs in middle schools all over the state. At the schools, he also sings his hit record, I’ve Been Everywhere ... in Texas, and the kids sing along with him, mouthing the words.
The American version of I’ve Been Everywhere was first made popular by Hank Snow (No. 1 on Billboard in 1962), and Johnny Cash, as you mentioned, had a hit version in 1996.
Brian, an Arlington resident, has written many great Texas songs. One of my favorites is Thunderstorms and Tyler Roses (Always Make Me Think of You).
Thanks again for honoring our Texas songs and singers.
— Carol Savage, Fort Worth
In defense of TWU
When my son was a student at Texas Wesleyan University, he befriended one of the Saudi students and we had him to our home for a meal, an enjoyable time for everybody. (See Dec. 11 Bud Kennedy column, “Muslim bashers take aim at Wesleyan.”)
I for one applaud the attempt by the university to accommodate this religion’s unique needs at prayer time.
— Julie Wende, Fort Worth
Mining personal data
Several tech companies including Google, Facebook and Yahoo have sent an open letter to the National Security Agency demanding that it stop targeting the telephone and Internet accounts of U.S. citizens.
I agree that our government should not make spying on Americans part of its daily routine.
But it’s important to note that most of the companies that signed this open letter share a business model of mining their customers’ personal information and browsing habits to sell to advertisers.
So while I agree that it should be illegal for the government to spy on U.S. citizens, it should also be illegal for corporations to mine information for profit without the express permission of their customers.
Customers should not have to opt out. They should have the choice to opt in.
— Wes Bannister,
North Richland Hills
Freedom of religion
I agree 100 percent with the Sunday letter “Reason for Christmas.”
Freedom of religion is one of the pillars on which this great country was built. So I am all for any American celebrating his or her religious belief of choice at this time of year.
What the letter writer from Cleburne conveniently forgets is that as a Christian I cannot go to China or Iran or even Israel and openly celebrate my Christian beliefs and the birth of Christ.
Fortunately, in America, I and a lot of other Americans can. And regarding the comment that the winter solstice is the reason for the season, my seasonal response is: Ho, Ho, Ho.
— Mike Morgan,
Question for Cruz
How does it feel to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz now that he is fully aware of some of the people on his bus and how they really think and behave?
— Greg S. Pate, Fort Worth
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