The Peerless City
10:14 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Seattle City Song Unearthed: ‘Her Bosom’s Gemm’d With Pearly Lakes’

In researching the Seattle City Charter, KUOW reporter Deborah Wang found the lyrics of the Seattle city song.

In 1909, Arthur O. Dillon petitioned the City Council to adopt the song, “Seattle the Peerless City,” and they agreed – provided he sing the song. He did, and the petition was granted. What that sounded like, we don’t know, as there isn’t sheet music. But Paul Holmes, the son of City Attorney Pete Holmes, performed the song at City Hall in 2011 with his acapella group, Duke’s Men of Yale. The video is below.

We share the lyrics of the song with you, dear readers, for your enjoyment. Scroll down for an additional verse, by newscaster Lisa Brooks, and video of the Duke’s Men of Yale.

UPDATE: We found the sheet music! Actually librarian Tracy Wolfe found the sheet music for us in Seattle Public Library archives. Stay tuned, because we may put some KUOW musical talents to work. 

Words by: Arthur O. Dillon
Music by: Glenn W. Ashley

Seattle sits on seven hills,
Her glory is unfurled,
At her feet is Puget Sound,
Where moves The Commerce of the world.

Chorus:
Hail to the Peerless City,
Metropolis of the west,
The gateway to the Orient,
Whom grandeur hath caressed!

Her bosom's gemm'd with pearly lakes,
The mountains tower near;
The fir tree forest skirts her bound;
The beauty of earth is here.

(Chorus)

Her men and women active, proud,
Seattle build sublime,
And greater far than ancient Rome,
The matchless for all time.

(Chorus)

True love and art shall flourish here,
The heart's sweet, tender theme,
Upholders of the truth here dwell,
The dreamers of the Dream.

(Chorus)

Lisa's verse:
A city whose eternal rage
Is vented far and wide.
By slamming through the min’ mum wage
When charters don’t abide.