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US State Songs
US State Songs

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Ohio State Song

"Beautiful Ohio"

Written by Ballard MacDonald
Special lyrics by Wilbert B. McBride
Composed by Mary Earl

Adopted on October 14, 1969.

The song, "Beautiful Ohio", words by Ballard MacDonald (1882-1935) and music by Mary Earl was adopted by the Ohio Legislature as the official state song on October 14, 1969.

Ohio State Song: "Beautiful Ohio"

"Beautiful Ohio"

I sailed away;
Wandered afar;
Crossed the mighty restless sea;
Looked for where I ought to be.
Cities so grand, mountains above,
Led to this land I love.

Chorus

Beautiful Ohio, where the golden grain
Dwarf the lovely flowers in the summer rain.
Cities rising high, silhouette the sky.
Freedom is supreme in this majestic land;
Mighty factories seem to hum in tune, so grand.
Beautiful Ohio, thy wonders are in view,
Land where my dreams all come true!

Original Chorus as written by Ballard MacDonald

Drifting with the current down a moonlit stream
While above the Heavens in their glory gleam
And the stars on high
Twinkle in the sky
Seeming in a paradise of love divine
Dreaming of a pair of eyes that looked in mine
Beautiful Ohio, in dreams again I see
Visions of what used to be.

Origin of Song: "Beautiful Ohio"

Not only are the current words to the Ohio state song different than the words to the song that was adopted in 1969, but Mary Earl is not Mary Earl. Mary Earl is a pseudonym, or pen name, for Robert A. "Bobo" King (1862-1932) of New York City. In 1918, he went to work for Shapiro-Bernstein Music Publishers under a contract to produce 4 songs per month. One of the songs he produced during that period was "Beautiful Ohio". The music for the song was adapted from a waltz of the same name.

"Beautiful Ohio" became the state song in 1989. The music was composed by Mary Earl, and the original lyrics were written by Ballard MacDonald. In 1989, the Ohio legislature adopted an amendment to section 5.09 of the Ohio Revised Code that changed the words of the state song. The new lyrics are the work of Youngstown attorney Wilbert McBride. Ohio Revised Code describing the State Song: (1989 S 33, eff. 11-6-89; 1989 H 457)

Ohio Law

Ohio Revised Code, General Provisions, Chapter 5, Section 9. The words are included within the statute.

GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 5. STATE INSIGNIA; SEALS; HOLIDAYS
SECTION 09.

§ 5.09 State song. The song, "Beautiful Ohio," is hereby adopted as the official song of the state, the lyric being written by Ballard MacDonald, with special lyrics by Wilbert B. McBride, and the music being composed by Mary Earl. The special lyrics are as follows:

I sailed away;
Wandered afar;
Crossed the mighty restless sea;
Looked for where I ought to be.
Cities so grand, mountains above,
Led to this land I love.

Chorus
Beautiful Ohio, where the golden grain
Dwarf the lovely flowers in the summer rain.
Cities rising high, silhouette the sky.
Freedom is supreme in this majestic land;
Mighty factories seem to hum a tune, so grand.
Beautiful Ohio, thy wonders are in view,
Land where my dreams all come true!

HISTORY: 133 v H 457 (Eff 10-14-69); 143 v S 33. Eff 11-6-89.

State Songs
US State Songs
Forty-nine states of the United States (all except New Jersey) have one or more state songs, selected by the state legislature as a symbol of the state.
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