Neighbors carried a request a while ago from a former North Dakota resident who wished he could remember the first verse of the “North Dakota Song,” which has been mentioned here several times.

Well, Lola Patnoude to the rescue.

Lola, now of Breckenridge, Minn., but who lived the first 32 years of her life in North Dakota, sent Neighbors that verse:



You oughta go ta North Dakota,

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See the cattle and the wheat

And the folks that can’t be beat.

You say hello to North Dakota,

But/And you just can’t say goodbye.



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“Then comes the ‘bridge’ of the song, (which the earlier writer thought was verse two). The bridge is sung to a ‘transitional’ sort of melody,” Lola says:



The skies are bluer than blue,

The sun is sunnier, too,

And if you don’t believe it,

There’s only one thing to do.





“Then verse two, or the refrain, is sung again:



You oughta go ta North Dakota,

See the cattle and the wheat

And the folks that can’t be beat.

You say hello to North Dakota,

And/But you just can’t say goodbye.





“I haven’t seen a verse two, which would be sung to the same melody as verse one, but with different lyrics. Has anyone else?” Lola asks.

Lola concludes her email by saying, “To everyone who has been mentioned in the Neighbors column about North Dakota, I’ve enjoyed every word.”

Lola attended a country school in North Dakota for eight years and taught in country schools for 10, then taught elsewhere for another 25 years.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email blind@forumcomm.com.