Friday, 18 January 2013

My Top Ten Ohio Songs

Not done one of my US road trip Top Tens for awhile. Wasn't sure I could get a whole post out of songs about the Buckeye State, but it's amazing what you find when you start digging around in your music library...

10. Over The Rhine - Ohio

A native band who take their name from a historic neighbourhood in Cincinnati. Lovely song.

9. The Ohio Players - O.H.I.O.

The funkiest Ohio band ever, these guys were together in one guise or another for over 40 years, scoring a pair of US Number Ones in the mid-70s, Fire and Love Rollercoaster (covered in the 90s by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers who had a minor UK hit with it). O.H.I.O. isn't their greatest moment, but it is the one that spells out their state of origin.

8. Super Furry Animals - Ohio Heat
Sycamore trees blowing green in the distance
She sucked on her thumb in her beautiful jail
A sentence to serve as her dynasty blows up inside her balloon
Salty Maureen had a bun in the oven
The daughters of charity let out a sigh
As she suffered they pleaded for mercy she needed a long time ago
And that is why the SFA are ace.

7. The Melting Ice Caps - Ohio

You have to wonder whether professional British miserablist David Shah has ever set foot in Ohio. Sometimes I wonder if he ever sets foot out of his house. Still, more power to him as long as he keeps recording tunes like this one, free to download from the band's website at the link above.

I also just discovered they released a new album last year - available to buy from the Indelicates' Corporate Records site. I look forward to giving that a spin.

6. The Handsome Family - Banks of the Ohio

A traditional folk song murder ballad covered by everyone from Johnny Cash to Olivia Newton John (in, of all places, a Cliff Richard movie). But the Handsome Family always win in the Murder Ballad Olympics as far as I'm concerned.

5. Bowling For Soup - Ohio (Come Back To Texas)

Bowling For Soup always make me smile.

4. Lambchop - Ohio

A song about Kurt Wagner's childhood paper round. I think. It's too lovely to dwell on the meaning - just enjoy the feeling.

3. Nilsson - Dayton, Ohio 1903

A Randy Newman song (here's the original), but the Harry Nilsson version is preferable... because it's Harry bloody-beautiful Nilsson.
Sing a song of long ago
When things were green and movin' slow
And people'd stop to say hello
Or they'd say "hi" to you
"Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?"
It's a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903
2. The National - Bloodbuzz Ohio

The National get carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees. Just another day at the office for them guys.

1. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Ohio

Neil Young's scream of protest against the Kent State massacre was banned by American radio for pointing the finger of blame at Richard Nixon. It remains one of the most powerful protest songs ever written.

The Dandy Warhols also did a suitably trippy cover.

Those were my Buckeyed Best... but which is your champion conker*?

(*On investigation, I discovered that the Buckeye is a tree which produces conkers similar to our own Horse Chestnut. See, we're not only about the obscure pop records here.)


  1. Oh...

    You've proper stimied me on this one.

  2. I can only offer another cover of the CSNY track - the Modfather's take on Ohio:


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