Ohio is a pretty musical state. LOTS of famous artists came out of its major cities and even some small towns, like Dwight Yoakam, Twenty One Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Maynard James Keenan, and Roy Rogers. So it would stand to reason that a few of them wrote some pretty solid songs about the state they're from.

Then WHY, I ask, did this national ranking website get the "Most Famous Song About Ohio" SO incredibly wrong? In fact, it was SO Wrong, I had to write this article about it.

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The ranking and list website Stacker recently put out a list of the most famous songs about each state in the Country, and arguably, it did get some right. You can't conceivably pick anything BUT "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd for Alabama, and "Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Srapleton.

But for the state of Ohio, I don't know if they could have picked a more obscure song. The band is called The National, and the song they chose was "Bloodbuzz Ohio," released in 2010.

THIS is the song that Stacker chose? It has like two lines that involved Ohio...

"I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of Bees / I never married but Ohio don't remember me...
I still owe money to the money to the money I owe / I never thought about love when I thought about home."

That's it. Nothing against The National, who are a good band, and frontman Berninger is from Cincinnati, but if we're talking about "Most Famous" song, THAT isn't even close to being it. The song barely made any noise on radio, and only certified gold once, and not even in the U.S.

No, if we're talking "Most Famous" songs about Ohio, you really need to start with bands who have had major, national, and international acclaim, with songs that have seen major success with radio play, and in sales.

So it's definitely NOT the best representation for "Most Famous" song about Ohio. But I think I've got some better options:

No. 10: Counting Crows, "Four Days"

This one's at the bottom of the list because it DOES mention Ohio, and it is on one of the band's most popular albums, "This Desert LIfe," which also had the songs "Hanginaround," "Mrs. Potter's Lullaby," and "All My Friends" on it. Chances are, a LOT of people had this record, so they heard the song. BUT... it's unclear why Ohio is the referenced state in the song.

No. 9: Bowling for Soup, "Ohio (Come back to Texas)"

I feel like this song is ACTUALLY more about Texas, than it is Ohio... but the lyrics open about the singer, Jaret Reddick's girlfriend, needing a break, and going off to Cleveland with "Some guy named Leland," and how much he actually doesn't mind Ohio... but he'd really like her to come back to North Texas before she loses her accent.

No. 8: Beach Boys, "Back Home"

It's interesting that a band based out of California would sing about going "Back Home" in Ohio, but Al Jardine was actually born in the small city of Lima, Ohio. So the lines about spending summer back home, finding his old friends, up before the roosters, feeding the chickens, milking the cows... that all kinda checks out.

No. 7: Reliant K, "Mrs. Hippopotamuses'

Maybe not the most famous of songs, but at least the band is one that most people have at least heard of. This one is geared heavily toward the nostalgia of being in Cleveland, cheering on the Browns, and visiting the amusement parks and water parks as a kid.

No. 6: Hawthorne Heights, "Ohio is for Lovers"

Easily the most recognizable on the list from the modern rock scene, Hawthorne Heights, who are based out of Dayton, use this as their signature song. It's about lead singer JT Woodruff having to leave his girlfriend behind in Ohio, while he went out on tour with the band. Not something we can all relate to, necessarily, but it's at least directly about Ohio.

No. 5: The Pretenders, "My City was Gone"

This is actually an autobiographical song by singer Chrissie Hynde, who returned to her childhood home in Ohio, and found it over-developed and polluted in comparison to how she left it. It destroyed the "pretty countryside" of her youth, and makes references to the area around Akron.

No. 4: R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

It's a song about the Cuyahoga River catching on fire... simple as that.

No. 3: Bruce Springsteen, "Youngstown"

One of the most commercially successful songs on the list, off his album, "The Ghost of Tom Joad," Bruce wrote this song about the town of Youngstown, Ohio, from beginning to end. From the discovery of iron ore nearby, to the decline of the steel industry there in the 1970s. Doesn't get anymore blue collar Ohio than that.

No. 2: Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, "Ohio"

A little less nostalgic, and more serious tone, "Ohio" was written by Neil Young after the Kent State Shootings, following what he saw in the photos of the incident in Time Magazine. This one was a possible contender for No. 1, but I still think there's one song that MANY more people will know.

No. 1: Randy Newman, "Burn On"


It's entirely possible you've never known the name of this song by Randy Newman, "Burn On." It's another song about the Cuyahoga River catching fire. But this song wasn't necessarily a big hit, it didn't get a ton of radio play, and Randy never really featured it in his shows. But... guarantee, millions, upon MILLIONS of people have heard it, and will recognize it instantly... as the opening song to the massive blockbuster hit, "Major League," featuring the (then) Cleveland Indians. The fact that this movie is STILL considered one of the premiere sports movies of all time, and one of the best blockbuster films to come out of the late 1980s.... and it all starts with this song, is why it's the most famous song about Ohio... that you probably didn't even know before now.

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