QUEENSLAND, we have an anthem.
It will be first heard sung in public at the beginning of the State of Origin series this year and it's one of 18 songs in the new show Home Ground: The State of Origin Musical, which will have its world premiere in Brisbane in June.
The song is called We Bleed Maroon and it was written by the team behind the musical - journalist and author Hugh Lunn, his wife Helen and director John Senczuk.
Any song that includes words such as "Born and bred in Queensland, Australia wide it's known, That here in bloody Queensland, We all bleed maroon" is alright by me. That gets you where you live, right?
I had a sneak peak at the tune being sung by cast members at the Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre in South Brisbane on Monday. The show will open there n June 23.
It is the brainchild of Hugh Lunn, who began his career working at The Courier-Mail and was with The Australian in Brisbane when the first state of Origin match was played in 1980.
Lunn, 75, has a knack for telling Queensland stories and his memoir Over The Top With Jim is one of the state's best-loved books.
After the floods in 2011 Lunn says we needed "something to wake the soul and mend the heart" and a musical about our sporting rivalry with New South Wales was the obvious choice.
"The only thing I could think of that connected the whole state from Queen Street to the loneliest cattle yard was State of Origin," Lunn says. "It's a drama and the universal story of a people who won't give up."
It's also a coming of age story about a young footballer called Wally Lewis (we are not worthy) who grew up to become The King.
Young Toowoomba star Chris White, who has toured with Hi-5 in recent times, is playing Wally and he says it's a great honour.
Australian musical star Peter Cousens who starred in The Phantom of the Opera in London's
West End is starring as the baddie, infamous New South Wales Rugby League boss Kevin Humphries.
As for Queensland Rugby League head honcho Ron McAuliffe, the godfather of Origin, we won't know who plays him for a week or two, when we'll also find out then who is playing Artie Beetson.
The score was written by local musician Bradley McCaw.
As for the signature song, well here are the words to get you in the mood.
WE BLEED MAROON
We Bleed Maroon
Born and bred in Queensland
Australia wide it's known
That here in bloody Queensland
We all bleed maroon
Out front of the Lang Park grandstand
Battle lines are drawn
Our boys run on from the dressing sheds
Maroon champions born
Not gonna be a wannabe
Out on the grass on the field of play
Winning's in our DNA
Maroon now stands for victory
We're on Home Ground
Go over - through - around
Not once in vain, never alone
Here forever carved in stone
We bleed maroon
(From our soul)
We bleed maroon …
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