AUGUSTA – Maine already has a state song and a state march, and thanks to a signing from Governor Janet Mills, Maine now has a state ballad.
The Maine State House temporarily became a concert venue Friday as the band The Ghost of Paul Revere performed what is now Maine’s official state ballad.
Called the “Ballad of the 20th Maine”, the song follows soldier and Mainer Andrew Tozier, as his infantry regiment joins the 20th Maine at the Battle of Gettysburg for a Union Army victory.
Songwriter Griffin Sherry said the Civil War era interests him, and he noticed as he learned about American folk music that there weren’t many Mainers mentioned.
“And I thought that the 20th Maine was something people should really know about. And I figured most people knew who Chamberlain was, so maybe look at something a little bit deeper, and Tozier is an incredible character in history,” said Sherry.
The Portland based band didn’t write the song to be an official ballad. After hearing it, a friend of theirs gave the idea to a Winterport lawmaker, and it got the support of the legislature and the governor.
“We are sons and daughters of Maine,” said Gov. Mills. “Music, we know, transcends the bounds of time and distance and language and culture.”
“To be able to represent Maine like we are and be able to go across the country singing Maine’s state ballad to people all over the world, that’s pretty cool,” said Sean McCarthy, one of the band members.
The governor’s signature made the ballad official Friday, no fiscal note needed.
Members of The Ghost of Paul Revere said they’re off to Chicago next for a show, and look forward to playing the ballad across the country.