Today, Neighbors thanks Bonnie McGregor, Pelican Rapids, Minn., for sending Neighbors the lyrics to the “North Dakota Hymn.”

Several columns have been written about the hymn and about C.S. Putnam, who wrote the music, and James Foley, the lyricist. But some younger people don’t know those lyrics.

So today, thanks to Bonnie, here they are:



North Dakota, North Dakota

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With thy prairies wide and free,

All thy sons and daughters love thee,

Fairest state from sea to sea.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

Here we pledge ourselves to thee.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

Here we pledge ourselves to thee.



Hear thy loyal children singing,

Songs of happiness and praise,

Far and long the echoes ringing,

Through the vastness of thy ways.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

We will serve thee all our days.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

We will serve thee all our days.



Onward, onward, onward going,

Light of courage in thine eyes,

Sweet the winds above thee blowing,

Green thy fields and fair thy skies.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

Brave the soul that in thee lies,

North Dakota, North Dakota

Brave the soul that in thee lies.



God of freedom, all victorious,

Give us souls serene and strong,

Strength to make the future glorious,

Keep the echo of our song.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

In our hearts forever long.

North Dakota, North Dakota,

In our hearts forever long.



Bonnie says she spent her younger days in Slope County, N.D., on a farm in Mineral Springs township.

“My school for the first eight grades was Mineral Springs School two miles from our farm,” she says. “My high school years were in Bowman, N.D., 17 miles from the farm.

“Young Citizens League (YCL) activities were a big part of our curriculum and social life, and singing the ‘North Dakota Hymn’ was a regular part of YCL programs.

“There was no bussing at that time, and we didn’t drive cars, so many of us stayed in town with family or friends during the week.

“After high school, I went to Concordia College in Moorhead.

“My memory of the ‘North Dakota Hymn’ is from school, but it could also be from my mother’s homemaker’s club. It was she who obtained the copy of the song in the first place.

“I know we did sing it either at the local school or when all the county schools got together in Amidon, N.D., several times a year. Great times those were!

“My mother, Petra Klug, is 105 and living in Southwest Healthcare in Bowman,” Bonnie wrote last December. “She was widowed when she was 60, but she continued to live on the farm with my brother until 15 years ago. She was born on the Fourth of July, and we call her a real firecracker!”

Neighbors also thanks Jim Johnson, Blanchard, N.D., who also sent in these lyrics. Jim says he took the lyrics from an eighth grade program in Traill County, N.D., in 1949.

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