Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ohio (50 Songs For 50 States)

Ohio. The Heart Of It All. Because, you know, it's shaped like a heart. Last year I put together a road trip post for 16 cities for a road trip in Ohio. Why? Becuase I've logged more hours and miles in this state in a car than any other (ironically, I only technically lived in the state for 5 whole months, and I almost failed the eye examination to get my license.) Living in Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis a grand total of 11 years of my adult life, the only way to get back to where I grew up is to go through...the heart of it all. If Ohio wasn't there, I could've gotten back a lot quicker. But I still like Ohio. Lake Erie, Cincinnati, Kent, Cedar Point, Toledo, downtown Columbus, the NFL Hall Of Fame, Put-In Bay, Amish country, and of course East Springfield where my wife is from...I've had the pleasure to visit and spend time in all of these places.

Recently in the past few years, there have been a lot of songs with Ohio in the title. A favorite? "Bloodbuzz, Ohio" from The National was the number one song on station to station in 2010. Justice, The Black Keys and Over The Rhine have songs called "Ohio". Why? has "Miss Ohio's Nameless". Sun Kill Moon has "Carry Me, Ohio". The Low Anthem has "To Ohio", Bonnie "Prince" Billy has "Ohio River Boat Song". Gillan Welch has "Look At Miss Ohio". Miranda Lambert has a song called "Miss Ohio". And even though it's not in the title, props should be given to The Pretenders for "My City Was Gone" which includes the famous line..."I went back to Ohio...but my city was gone."

The one song which will always resonates with Ohio will be Neil Young with Crosby, Stills and Nash. "Four dead in Ohio" may be the most powerful protest song of all time. After seeing a photo of the shooting that took place during a protest at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, Young wrote the song as a protest to the tragedy blaming the "tin soldiers" (Ohio National Guard) and President Nixon (for being responsible for it). It's grit helped make the song a true classic of a space in time that should not be forgotten. No matter how many great songs are released about Ohio, Young's will always take top prize.

Songs of Ohio Playlist:
1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young-Ohio
2. The National-Bloodbuzz, Ohio
3. Sun Kill Moon-Carry Me, Ohio
4. Over The Rhine-Ohio
5. Why?-Miss Ohio's Nameless
6. Bonnie "Prince" Billy-Ohio River Boat Song
7. The Black Keys-Ohio
8. Justice-Ohio
9. Miranda Lambert-Miss Ohio
10. The Low Anthem-To Ohio
11. Gillian Welch-Look At Miss Ohio
12. Pretenders-My City Was Gone


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