I must take issue with Frank J. Guida's remark that "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" {Metro, Jan. 26} is the most famous state song ever written.

As a son of the Sunshine State, it has always given me considerable pride to hear schoolchildren sing "Swanee River" in classrooms across the nation. Even the earlier Florida state song "Listen to the Mockingbird," which was replaced in the early 1930s by the Stephen Foster classic, is well-known today as the theme song of the Three Stooges' Columbia Picture shorts.

And what about "California Here I Come"?

On the other hand, while I have been aware of the existence of a song called "Carry Me Back To Old Virginny," I have never heard it played, even in the three years I have lived in Virginia. In fact, it was in your paper that I not only first saw the lyrics but found out it was Virginia's state song.

As far as changing the lyrics, a song published in 1875 would be in the public domain. The state house of delegates can adopt any official version it choses. People are going to sing, or not sing, any version they want, and I will continue to hear, or not hear, whatever version is agreed, or not agreed, upon. -- Alan E. Bratburd