State of Rock: Massachusetts failed ‘Roadrunner,’ but Ohio approves ‘Hang On, Sloopy’


This one stings.

Nearly two months to the day that Massachusetts failed to make the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” the official State Rock Song of the Commonwealth, Ohio has gone and made it easy for “Hang On Sloopy” to rep the Buckeye State.

The pop-rock classic, which was made a Number 1 hit in 1965 by the McCoys and has since become a favorite at Ohio State University games has landed in the state Senate for consideration after passing in the Ohio house by a vote of 82-13.


That’s a far cry from the treatment that “Roadrunner” received here in Massachusetts. And that’s even with the McCoys hailing from Indiana.


As Boston Magazine notes, the campaign to make “Roadrunner” the state rock song of Massachusetts died in January after Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo failed to take action on the bill, despite heavy media coverage and public endorsements from the likes of comedian John Hodgman. Wrote BoMag: “Its momentum [after making it out of committee] was then somewhat slowed by a rival faction out of the South Shore, led by Duxbury Rep. Josh Cutler and Marshfield Rep. James Cantwell who made a motion to name Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ the official Massachusetts state rock song.”

Here’s the word on “Sloopy” from the Associated Press:

A proposal to make “Hang On Sloopy” Ohio’s official rock song has struck the right note with state representatives. The Ohio House voted 82-13 to pass the measure Wednesday, sending it to the state Senate for consideration.

The 1960s hit was written by Wes Farrell and Bert Russell and has been a crowd favorite for decades at Ohio State University games. The university’s marching band first performed it in 1965. Pro sports events around the state also use it.

The Legislature recognized “Sloopy” as the state’s official rock song in the 1980s, though the honor apparently wasn’t enshrined in law.

The House passed a bill to designate the tune as Ohio’s rock song in the last session, but the Senate didn’t consider it.

Here’s the song. Very rock.