"It might sound crazy what I'm about to say." — Pharrell Williams, "Happy"

Virginia is a lyrical place to live and work. From the Shenandoah Mountains to here in Hampton Roads, the commonwealth inspires great music and we should embrace so rich a tradition.

In 1997, controversy over the lyrics to "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia" led the General Assembly to seek a more appropriate composition to serve as the commonwealth's state song. "Carry Me Back" was designated "State Song Emeritus" and a study group was launched to select a suitable replacement.

Since then, Virginia — birthplace of Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald, Bruce Hornsby and Aimee Mann, among so many others — has been without an official state song. This is unacceptable.

We need a modern song. Something fresh and uplifting. A song capable of washing away the stain of its last state anthem.

Carry Me Back was wistful in its depiction of the slave era, which is not emblematic of our commonwealth. It was hurtful to many residents, and we must find something better.

We recommend the commonwealth make "Happy" by Virginia Beach's Pharrell Williams its official state song. Just give it a listen and tell us you don't agree.

Now, bear with us a minute. We tackle a lot of weighty issues on this page — public policy, budgets, elections and the like. But we should also celebrate the things which make Virginia special. And what we project to our fellow states and the world at large is important.

Virginia adopting "Happy" as its state song would do so exquisitely.

Mr. Williams is an exceptional musician with local ties. A seven-time Grammy winner, he is one of the most celebrated artists in his profession. His collaboration with the French electronic duo Daft Punk recently snared wins for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. And his music is everywhere these days.

"Happy" is but one example. The family-friendly song from the animated movie "Despicable Me 2" earned Mr. Williams an Oscar nomination, where his performance brought the house down. Lupita Nyong'o, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams were even inspired to dance with Mr. Williams during the song.

We understand their compulsion. "Happy" has an infectious groove. Its symptoms are smiling, singing along and an uncontrollable urge to get up and move. It's that catchy.

Some think the lyrics are a little goofy, like the line in which Mr. Williams says he feels "like a room without a roof." He has explained it intends to convey a feeling of boundless opportunity. The song celebrates sunshine and optimism, dismissing bad news as having no effect. The singer is happy, and so we all should be.

Quite honestly, we can be soooo serious: the mother of presidents, mother of states, capital of the Confederacy and so on. When we proposed this, one member of our editorial board observed Virginians are not particularly smiley. "Happy" would put a new face on the commonwealth. Is that really such a bad thing?

As an added benefit, we enjoy imagining state functions in Richmond featuring "Happy" on the playlist. Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his successors could probably use a little levity. (And we'd all like to see T-Mac's dance moves.)

Virginia is one of only two states without an official song. New Jersey is the other and, honestly, it should just go ahead and adopt Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" already. They could use a little fun. Last week, West Virginia made "Take Me Home, Country Roads" its fourth state song. Virginia doesn't even have one!

We last discussed selecting a state song in 2006 but couldn't reach agreement. Surely we Virginians can find consensus on this.

We need "Happy" as our state song. And if you don't think so, go listen to it again. We're confident you'll come around.

So we invite you to join our campaign. We've launched a Facebook page (facebook.com/happyforvirginia) and Twitter account (@happyforVA) to encourage adopting a state song to make us, well, happy. We can do it, with a great song by a talented Virginia artist.

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.