Gov. Mills with The Ghost of Paul Revere and Rep. Scott Cuddy, as she signs legislation recognizing "The Ballad of the 20th Maine" as the state ballad. Credit: Courtesy of Office of Gov. Janet Mills

Gov. Janet Mills on Friday signed a bill proclaiming “The Ballad of the 20th Maine,” a song by Portland-based folk trio the Ghost of Paul Revere, as the official state ballad.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Scott Cuddy, D-Winterport, received approval from both the Maine House and Senate last month. The Ghost of Paul Revere comprises banjo player Max Davis, bassist Sean McCarthy and guitarist Griffin Sherry, who is the band’s primary songwriter and wrote “The Ballad of the 20th Maine.”

Cuddy said that, aside from recognizing contemporary Maine musicians, his primary reason for proposing “The Ballad of the 20th Maine” as state ballad was to recognize the sacrifice and courage of Mainers who fought in the Civil War.

The song recognizes “the tenacity of our people and adds to the catalog of art that represents us as a state,” Cuddy said.

Originally released on the band’s 2015 album “Field Notes, Vol. 1,” the song tells the story of Andrew Tozier, a real-life native of Litchfield, who at age 23 joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War. He eventually was transferred to the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the illustrious regiment led by Brewer native Col. Joshua Chamberlain, who was known as the “lion of Bowdoin.” Tozier was named color-bearer for the 20th Maine, and was later awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Gettysburg.

Maine’s state ballad will join a state song and a state march.

The state song is “The State of Maine Song” by Roger Vinton Snow, which was adopted in 1931. The state march, “The Dirigo March” by Leo Pepin, was adopted in 2012.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.