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‘Southern Nights’ designated Louisiana’s state cultural song

June 12, 2021 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is reshuffling its official state songs list.

Lawmakers voted to add “Southern Nights” by New Orleans native Allen Toussaint as the state’s official cultural song, while keeping “You Are My Sunshine,” co-written by former Gov. Jimmy Davis, in its long-held place as the state’s official song. Toussaint’s song, according to lawmakers, was inspired by time spent in Terrebonne Parish.

But the House and Senate struck the song “Give Me Louisiana” by Doralice Fontane from the state’s official songs list. That tune, adopted decades ago as an official state song, referenced “old plantation days” and “the state of snowy cotton” in its list of the reasons that Louisiana is “the sweetest of all states.”

The bill by Rep. Vincent Pierre, a Lafayette Democrat, adding “Southern Nights” and scrapping “Give Me Louisiana” was sent to the governor’s desk with a 100-1 House vote and 36-0 Senate vote.

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The bill is filed as House Bill 351.