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Teacher writes new lyrics to classic tune

5:43 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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Teacher Linda LLoyd plays the piano for the song Tennessee for Me.

How would you like to learn about your state through an original song?

That's what's happening at one East Tennessee school where a teacher has copyrighted the lyrics to a classic tune.

This fall, Linda Lloyd was teaching these music students at Kingston Elementary about the musician George M. Cohan.

"He wrote Yankee Doodle Dandy and Over There and You're a Grand Old Flag and they're catchy tunes. His music is wonderful," Linda Lloyd said.

She especially likes one of his tunes called Harrigan and decided to write alternate lyrics focusing on Kingston.

"I tried to fit the letters to Kingston and it just didn't work so why don't I try Tennessee and I was surprised how it just fell into place," she said.

The chorus is catchy. T-E double-N E double-S double-E Tennessee.

She started with one verse and asked her students to sing it.

"In music class whenever we had music class we would always sing it at the beginning of the class," 5th grade student Taylor Duncan said.

"I wrote two or three more verses and then I just realized I just need to do this city by city," Linda Lloyd said. "Then we started doing a geography lesson because a lot of them didn't know where Memphis was or some of the other things about the state and then some of the things in there like Ya Ya at the Memphis zoo."

Ten year old Adrianna Nolan said, "Well it actually kind of tells about Tennessee and like what all is in Tennessee."

The teacher calls her version of the song Tennessee For Me.

Its been a positive teaching tool for her music students at Kingston Elementary School.

"I was showing them a clip of a movie where they sing the Harrigan tune and one of the students said Miss Lloyd they're singing your song and I had to stop and say now let me make this clear this is his tune I just wrote words," she said.

She would like to see her words with George M. Cohan's music used as a curriculum element or in state tourism promotions.

"If nothing else the children have enjoyed it and I feel like it will be a song they might not remember every word but they'll remember the first line or two anyway," she said.

They sure will. T-E double-N E double-S double-E Tennessee.

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