Montana State Song Will Leave You Feeling Patriotic

Montana, the Treasure State — with its gorgeous mountain ranges and sprawling grasslands — has a state song that’s as breathtaking as its views.

As someone who has always been fascinated by the power of music, I was curious to learn more about Montana’s official song.

In this article, I want to take you on a journey through the history, composition, and symbolism of the Montana State Song.

By the end of this post, you’ll not only know the lyrics by heart but feel a sense of pride and patriotism towards this remarkable state.

So, whether you’re a music teacher, a performance company, or just a curious mind, get ready to explore the musical beauties grand of the official song of Montana.

Together, let’s discover the beauty and power of Montana’s musical heritage, one note at a time.

Montana State Song: “Montana”

A Close up of a Person’s Hands Playing the Montana State Song on a Piano.

Montana State Song, officially known as “Montana”, is a famous state song that is rich in history and symbolism.

With Joseph E. Howard as a composer and Charles C. Cohan as a lyricist, the song was written way back in September 1910.

But it was only 35 years later, on February 20, 1945, that it was finally adopted as the state’s official song when Governor Sam C. Ford signed the law.

The Montana State Song holds significant cultural importance as it celebrates the beauty and natural richness of the so-called “Treasure State”.

The song’s lyrics describe Montana’s sweeping plains, mountainous sunsets, and grandiose beauty.

It encapsulates the essence of the Montana way of life with its combination of rugged independence and natural beauty. The song is the official anthem of the state and is played at many official events and ceremonies.

It is also a part of Montana’s public education system, and students are taught the song’s history and its significance to Montana.

That said, Montana’s musical heritage goes beyond its state song to encompass a diverse range of musical genres, from country and folk to Native American traditional music.

Montana State Song Origins

A Sheet of Music for the Montana State Song

The Montana State Song has a rich history that dates back to the early 1900s and a fun fact about it is that it was done overnight!

It was during the start of the fall theater season, September 27, 1910, when Joseph Howard, performed “The Goddess of Liberty” in Butte, Montana along with his troupe.

During the after-party, Mrs. E. Creighton Largey, a former member of Howard’s troupe, scolded Howard for playing the song “Illinois”  in his production since the performance was done in Montana.

She then turned into another guest, Charles C. Cohan, Butte Miner’s then-city editor, and challenged both him and Howard to make a song specifically for Montana.

The two gentlemen were immediately up for the challenge and thirty minutes later, they came out to announce that both the basic melody and lyrics of the “Montana” song were already done.

They drew inspiration from the state’s sweeping plains, mountainous sunsets, and natural beauty.

They went on to polish the song during the remainder of the night while Howard’s arranger did the final touches the following morning. 

Howard then left and made preparations for the first performance of “Montana” in Helena on September 29, 1910.

The news about “Montana” got around pretty quickly and important people joined a full house in anticipation.

Its notable audience was Governor Edwin L. Norris, Senator Thomas Carter, and James J. and Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railroad.

It was only after Howard did 12 encores of “Montana” that the play proceeded. 

The song became dear to the hearts of Montana citizens and 35 years later, the Legislature and Governor Sam C. Ford made “Montana” the state song on February 20, 1945. 

The song speaks to the independent spirit of the state’s people and celebrates the natural beauty that surrounds them.

It’s no wonder that the Montana State Song has become an iconic symbol of Montana’s rich cultural heritage and a mark of pride for its people.

“Montana”: State Song’s Full Lyrics

The State Flag of Montana

The Montana State Song, also known as “Montana”, has been beloved by Montanans for over a century.

Composed by Charles C. Cohan with lyrics by Joseph E. Howard, this iconic song perfectly captures the spirit and beauty of “The Last Best Place”.

With its majestic peaks and stunning vistas, Montana is truly a land of natural beauty. The lyrics of “Montana” paint a vivid picture of the state’s breathtaking scenery, with lines like “Mountains of sunset fire, the land I love.”

The Montana State Song celebrates Montana’s natural wonders. With its soaring melody and heartfelt lyrics, it is a true anthem for anyone who loves this great state.

Here are the full lyrics of the Montana State Song:


Tell me of that Treasure State
Story always new,
Tell of its beauties grand
And its hearts so true.
Mountains of sunset fire
The land I love the best
Let me grasp the hand of one
From out the Golden West


Montana, Montana, Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast, You’re easily the best
Montana, Montana, Where skies are always blue
M-O-N-T-A-N-A, Montana I love you.


Each country has its flow’r;
Each one plays a part,
Each bloom brings a longing hope
To some lonely heart.
Bitterroot to me is dear
Growing in my land
Sing then that glorious air
The one I understand.


These stirring and beautiful lyrics, combined with its gorgeous melody have made the Montana State Song a true masterpiece of American music. Truly, there is no better way to celebrate Montana.

Montana State Song Final Thoughts

A Person Playing the Montana State Song on a Piano

The Montana State Song is more than just an anthem to the people of Montana; it is a cultural heritage that holds a special place in the hearts of its locals.

Ever since its adoption as the official state song in 1945, the lyrics and melody of “Montana” have resonated with the patriotic spirit of the people.

It is likely to remain an enduring symbol for future generations and a reminder of what it means to truly be from Montana and experience its grandiose beauty.

Montana State Song FAQs

If you’re still curious about this famous state song, we’ve compiled a list of five frequently asked questions to provide more insight to you.

1. When Was Montana’s State Song First Performed?

The Montana state song, known as “Montana,” was first performed on September 29, 1910,  by Joseph E. Howard and Charles Cohan at Helena just a few days after it was composed.

2. Who First Performed Montana’s State Song?

In 1910, “Montana,” the now-famous state song, had its first performance in Helena by the composer and lyricist themselves, Joseph E. Howard and Charles C. Cohan.

It was attended by Governor Edwin L. Norris, Senator Thomas Carter, James J. Hill, and Louis Hill, among others. Their attendance at the event was a testament to the importance of the budding state song.

3. When Was Montana’s State Song Officially Instated?

Montana’s state song, “Montana,” was officially instated by the State Legislature on February 20, 1945. The declaration was signed by Governor Sam C. Ford, paying tribute to the beauty and grandeur of Montana.

4. What Year Was Montana’s State Song Written?

Montana’s State Song was written on the night of September 27, 1910, by Joseph E. Howard who composed the music and Charles Cohan who wrote the lyrics. 

5. Who Wrote Montana’s State Song?

Montana’s State Song, titled simply “Montana,” was composed by Charles C. Cohan, with lyrics by Joseph Howard. What began as a challenge, soon became a beloved symbol of the state’s culture and identity.

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Written by:

Elizabeth Hawley
Hey, fellow travelers! I'm Elizabeth Hawley, stepping into the world in the hues of fall. For me, Montana is more than just a state; it's a muse. The golden aspen trees and russet landscapes in the fall have always fueled my creativity. Co-founding was a no-brainer, blending my love for art, photography, and Montana's ever-changing palette.

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