Did you know that some of the best songs about Ohio were written by Ohioans? In fact, many famous singers and songwriters have penned tunes about our great state. Here are 20 of the best songs about Ohio, listed in no particular order.
Carry Me Ohio – Sun Kil Moon
Carry Me Ohio is a song by American indie folk band Sun Kil Moon. The song was released as the second single from the band’s second studio album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, in 2003. Carry Me Ohio is a somber and introspective ballad that reflects on the singer’s life in Ohio. The lyrics are written in a flowing and poetic style, and the song’s sparse instrumentation gives it a haunting and emotive feel. The song’s lyrics evoke images of small-town America, with references to blue-collar jobs, rundown houses, and empty streets. In spite of its sad subject matter, Carry Me Ohio is ultimately a hopeful and uplifting song about finding beauty in life’s simplest moments.
Boy In Ohio – Phil Ochs
“Boy in Ohio” is a song written by Phil Ochs, an American folk musician and singer-songwriter. The song was inspired by the Vietnam War and the Kent State shootings, which took place at Kent State University in Ohio in 1970. The song is critical of the war and the American government’s handling of it, and it also criticizes the violence that occurred at Kent State. Despite its criticism, the song is also hopeful, with Ochs singing that “a better world is comin’, comin’ to Ohio.” The song has been covered by a number of artists, including Bruce Springsteen, who included it on his album “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”
Ohio Is For Lovers – Hawthorne Heights
Ohio Is For Lovers is a song by Hawthorne Heights that was released in 2004. The song is about the state of Ohio and its residents. The lyrics talk about how Ohio is a great place to live, with its beautiful scenery and friendly people. However, the song also talks about how Ohio has its problems, like poverty and crime. Despite its challenges, Ohio is still a great place to call home. And, as the lyrics say, “Ohio is for lovers.” Whether you’re from Ohio or not, this song is sure to make you fall in love with the Buckeye State.
Bloodbuzz Ohio – The National
“Bloodbuzz Ohio” is a song by American indie rock band The National, from their 2010 album High Violet. The song’s title refers to an ongoing phenomenon in which large numbers of bees die suddenly and mysteriously. The lyrics of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” are written from the perspective of a person who is struggling to keep up with the pace of change in his life. The narrator describes how everything in his life seems to be moving forward while he remains stuck in the same place.
Hoopes I Did It Again – Relient K
Relient K is a band from Ohio, and their song “Hoopes I Did It Again” is a love letter to the state. The song talks about all the things that make Ohio special, from the Buckeye State’s natural beauty to its rich history. The band members grew up in Ohio, and the song is a nostalgic tribute to their home state. In addition to being a beautiful ballad, “Hoopes I Did It Again” is also a great way to learn about Ohio’s many attractions. Whether you’re a native Ohioan or just visiting, this song will give you a new appreciation for the Buckeye State.
Cleveland Rocks – Ian Hunter
Ian Hunter’s song “Cleveland Rocks” is a catchy ode to the city of Ohio. The song was written for The Drew Carey Show, which was set in Cleveland, and it quickly became a fan favorite. In addition to being a love letter to the city, the song is also a celebration of its people and its culture. Hunter sings about the city’s rich history, its vibrant present, and its bright future. He praises Cleveland for its spirit and character, and he urges listeners to come and experience all that the city has to offer. Whether you’re from Ohio or not, “Cleveland Rocks” is sure to put a smile on your face and get your toes tapping.
Till I Die – Machine Gun Kelly
Ohio-native Machine Gun Kelly pays tribute to his home state in his song “Till I Die.” The lyrics convey both the pride and the struggles of life in Ohio, with references to both the city and the countryside. Despite the challenges, the speaker remains committed to his home, vowing to stay “till I die.” The song has resonated with many Ohioans, who see themselves reflected in Kelly’s words. For many, the song is a source of pride and a reminder of the strength of the state’s people.
My City Was Gone – The Pretenders
“My City Was Gone” is a song by American rock band The Pretenders. It was released in October 1982 as the lead single from their second studio album, Learning to Crawl. The song was written by lead singer Chrissie Hynde in response to the demolition of her hometown of Akron, Ohio to make way for a highway bypass. Hynde has said that the song is “about more than Akron,” and that its lyrics can apply to any city undergoing rapid change. The song’s opening guitar riff has been described as “one of the most recognizable guitar hooks of the 1980s.”
Road Outside Columbus – O.A.R.
Road Outside Columbus is a song by O.A.R., a rock band from Columbus, Ohio. The song is a love letter to the band’s home state, and it celebrates the beauty of the Ohio landscape. The lyrics paint a picture of the Buckeye State as a place where “fields of corn stretch out for miles” and “the sun shines down on [the] open road.” The song also pays tribute to the working men and women of Ohio, who are “honest and true” and “build[s] this country one day at a time.” Road Outside Columbus is an ode to the Midwest, and it captures the spirit of Americana. It’s a song that makes you want to hop in your car and hit the open road.
O-Hi-O (O-My!-O!) – Al Jolson
Ohio, also known as the “Buckeye State,” is located in the Midwestern region of the United States. The state is home to several major cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Ohio is also home to a variety of natural attractions, such as the Hocking Hills State Park and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. In addition to its natural beauty, Ohio is also known for its rich history and cultural heritage. One of the most popular songs about Ohio is “O-Hi-O (O-My!-O!)” by Al Jolson.
Burn On – Randy Newman
Burn On is a song written and performed by Randy Newman. The song is about the city of Cleveland, Ohio, and its decline in the late 20th century. The song opens with the line “Burn on, big river, burn on” which sets the tone for the rest of the song. The lyrics describe the city as a once great place that has been brought down by pollution and decline. The song also talks about how the city’s residents have to “burn on” because they can’t leave. Despite its depressing subject matter, the song is upbeat and features Newman’s signature piano playing. Burn On By is a classic Randy Newman song that captures the decline of a once great American city.
Look At Miss Ohio – Gillian Welch
“Look at Miss Ohio” is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Gillian Welch. The song was released as the lead single from Welch’s fourth studio album, Soul Journey (2003). “Look at Miss Ohio” is a ballad that tells the story of a young woman who leaves her home in Ohio to seek her fortune in Hollywood. Despite her initial success, the woman eventually realizes that she is homesick and misses her life back in Ohio. The song ends with the woman returning to her hometown and vowing never to leave again.
Big Butter Jesus – Heywood Banks
Big Butter Jesus is a song by Heywood Banks. The song is about Ohio and its nickname, the Buckeye State. The Buckeye State got its nickname from the abundance of buckeye trees that grow there. The state tree of Ohio is the buckeye tree, and the state flower is the scarlet carnation. Ohio is also known for its agriculture, manufacturing, and oil production. The state motto is “With God, all things are possible.”
Going To Cleveland – The Mountain Goats
“Going to Cleveland” is a song by the American indie rock band The Mountain Goats. It was released as a single in 2006, and later appeared on the band’s album The Sunset Tree. The song is an ode to the city of Cleveland, Ohio, and its eponymous county. The lyrics paint a picture of a blue-collar city that is struggling with poverty and crime. However, the speaker in the song remains optimistic about Cleveland’s future, declaring that “someday soon, [the city] will be shining like the sun.” Despite its bleak subject matter, “Going to Cleveland” is an upbeat and catchy tune that vividly captures the spirit of the city it pays tribute to.
Escape From Ohio – Electric Six
“Escape from Ohio” is a song by American rock band Electric Six. The song was released as the second single from the band’s second studio album, Fire, in 2003. The song is an ode to the band’s hometown of Detroit, Michigan, and its surrounds. The song’s lyrics urge listeners to “escape from Ohio” and “come to Detroit”, citing the attractions of the city such as its music scene, its sports teams, and its nightlife. The song also makes reference to the city’s history, with lines such as “this is where they made the cars that won the war”. In conclusion, “Escape from Ohio” is a song that celebrates Detroit and everything that makes it special.
Four Days – Counting Crows
The song “Four Days” by Counting Crows is a haunting ballad about a young girl’s experience in Ohio. The lyrics tell the story of a girl who is taken from her home and sent to live with her aunt in a small town. The girl is unhappy and struggles to adjust to her new life. She eventually runs away and is found four days later, dead in a field. The song reflects on the tragedy of her life and the waste of her potential. The lyrics are sad and depressing, but there is also an underlying feeling of hope and possibility. The girl’s story is a reminder that even in the dark times, we must never give up hope. We must always fight for our dreams because we never know what tomorrow will bring.
Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash
The song “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash is a tribute to the four students who were killed by the National Guard during a protest at Kent State University in 1970. The song reflects on the tragedy and asks the question “how many more?” in reference to the other protesting students who were killed or wounded during the incident. The song also calls for justice, with the lyric “four dead in Ohio/ put down your guns.” The song has been covered by many artists over the years and remains an anthem for peace and social justice. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
All The Lilacs In Ohio – John Hiatt
John Hiatt’s “All the Lilacs in Ohio” is a haunting ballad about love and loss set against the backdrop of the American Midwest. The song’s protagonist is a young man who has recently lost his girlfriend to another man. He returns to their hometown in Ohio, where he finds that everything reminds him of her. The lilacs in her backyard have all died, and he imagines that she is also dead. The song is a study in grief, and its sparse, eerie arrangement only adds to the sense of loss and isolation.
My Ohio Home – Al Jolson And Johnny Marvin
The song “My Ohio Home” by Al Jolson and Johnny Marvin is a tribute to the state of Ohio. The lyrics paint a picture of the Buckeye State as a beautiful and welcoming place. The song speaks of the many things Ohio has to offer, from its verdant farmland to its bustling cities. It also emphasizes the sense of community that Ohioans feel towards their state. In addition, the song highlights some of the state’s most famous landmarks, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a whole, “My Ohio Home” is a celebration of all that makes Ohio a great place to live.
Dreamy Bruises – Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso is an American indie pop duo from Durham, North Carolina, consisting of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn. Their song “Dreamy Bruises” is a haunting ballad about the state of Ohio. The lyrics describe the feeling of being trapped in a small town, longing for something more. The song reflects the duo’s own experiences growing up in the Midwest, and the sense of nostalgia that comes with leaving home.