Ohio's State Rock Song - Hang On Sloopy

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In 1985, the Ohio General Assembly approved "Hang on Sloopy" as Ohio's official rock song. The Ohio General Assembly adopted an official rock song after Joe Dirck, a columnist for the Columbus Citizen-Journal, wrote a column about the State of Washington considering the adoption of its own rock song. The Ohio General Assembly responded by making "Hang on Sloopy" Ohio's rock song. Ohio is the only state to have an official rock song.

Bert Berns and Wes Farrell co-wrote the song, and "Hang on Sloopy" became a major hit for the band The McCoys in 1965. The McCoys were originally from Dayton, Ohio. The song was about Dorothy Sloop of Steubenville, Ohio. A singer, Sloop sometimes used the stage name Sloopy.

The resolution establishing "Hang on Sloopy" as Ohio's rock song had a number of  references to the song's lyrics and to the song's importance to Ohioans. The resolution read:


HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 16

WHEREAS, The members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio wish to recognize the rock song "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of the great State of Ohio; and

WHEREAS, In 1965, an Ohio-based rock group known as the McCoys reached the top of the national record charts with "Hang On Sloopy," composed by Bert Russell and Wes Farrell, and that same year, John Tagenhorst, then an arranger for the Ohio State University Marching Band, created the band's now-famous arrangement of "Sloopy," first performed at the Ohio State-Illinois football game on October 9, 1965; and

WHEREAS, Rock music has become an integral part of American culture, having attained a degree of acceptance no one would have thought possible twenty years ago; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of Ohio is in no way intended to supplant "Beautiful Ohio" as the official state song, but would serve as a companion piece to that old chestnut; and

WHEREAS, If fans of jazz, country-and-western, classical, Hawaiian and polka music think those styles also should be recognized by the state, then by golly, they can push their own resolution just like we're doing; and

WHEREAS, "Hang On Sloopy" is of particular relevance to members of the Baby Boom Generation, who were once dismissed as a bunch of long-haired, crazy kids, but who now are old enough and vote in sufficient numbers to be taken quite seriously; and

WHEREAS, Adoption of this resolution will not take too long, cost the state anything, or affect the quality of life in this state to any appreciable degree, and if we in the legislature just go ahead and pass the darn thing, we can get on with more important stuff; and

WHEREAS, Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town, and everybody, yeah, tries to put my Sloopy down; and

WHEREAS, Sloopy, I don't care what your daddy do, 'cause you know, Sloopy girl, I'm in love with you; therefore be it Resolved, That we, the members of the 116th General Assembly of Ohio, in adopting this Resolution, name "Hang On Sloopy" as the official rock song of the State of Ohio; and be it further Resolved, That the Legislative Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit duly authenticated copies of this Resolution to the news media of Ohio.


The lyrics to "Hang On Sloopy" are as follows.

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town
and everybody yeah, tries to put my sloopy down
Sloopy I don't care, what your daddy do
Cuz you know sloopy, girl, I'm in love with you

and so I sing out

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

Sloopy wears a red dress, yeah
As old as the hills
but when sloopy wears that red dress, yeah
you know it gives me the chills

Sloopy when I see you walking,
walking down the street
I say don't worry sloopy, girl
You belong to me

and so I sing out

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah) Let's give it to 'em (Guitar solo)

Sloopy let your hair down, girl
Let it hang down on me
Sloopy let your hair down, girl
Let it hang down on me, yeah

come on sloopy (come on, come on)
oh come on sloopy (come on, come on)
oh come on sloopy (come on, come on)
oh come on sloopy (come on, come on)

well it feels so good (come on, come on)
you know it feels so good (come on, come on)
well shake it, shake it, shake it sloopy (come on, come on)
shake it, shake it, shake it yeah (come on, come on) (Scream)

hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

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