Ohio's State Song - Beautiful Ohio

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In 1969, the Ohio legislature adopted "Beautiful Ohio" as Ohio's state song. Mary Earl, whose real name was Robert A. "Bobo" King, composed the music. Ballard MacDonald wrote the original lyrics to the 1918 song. In 1989, with the permission of the Ohio legislature, Wilbert B. McBride altered the lyrics.

In his version, MacDonald describes a rather fanciful view of Ohio, describing it as a "paradise," where two people fell in love.

MacDonald's lyrics:

Long, long time ago Someone I know Had a little red canoe, In it room for only two. Love found its start Then in my heart, And like a flower grew.


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 Visons of what used to be.

McBride also described Ohio in a stellar light, using terms like "majestic," "beautiful," and "lovely." In addition, He provided a more accurate portrayal of the state by referring to the state's industries, cities, and farmland, deleting MacDonald's lovers from the song.

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.


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!