We have a state flower, a state tree, a state bird and even a state dessert. But apparently Massachusetts needs a state rock song, too, and state representatives are in a battle over which song should take the coveted title.
According to an article in SouthCoastToday.com, Duxbury Democrat Rep. Josh Cutler and Marshfield Democrat Rep. James Cantwell filed for paperwork on Monday to make Aerosmith’s “Dream On” Massachusetts’ official state rock song.
Cutler and Cantwell argue that “Dream On,” named one of the 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone, is deeply rooted in Massachusetts. SouthCoastToday reports that Cantwell said “With all due respect, Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time. No band is more closely associated with Massachusetts.”
The proposed “Dream On” legislation would go up against a similar bill filed by Dorchester Democrat Rep. Marty Walsh, who wants “Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers to be the state rock song.
Walsh was inspired by a 2007 article in The Guardian, in which the author pays homage to her love for the 1973 Richman tune. The song is filled with familiar references to many places Massachusetts, including the Prudential Tower, Boston Harbor, Quincy, Amherst and more.
Upon hearing that she inspired Walsh to pass a bill about the “Roadrunner,” Guardian author Laura Burton writes of the song:
But in reality this song is nothing more than a tribute to the joys of driving on Route 128 at night in a Plymouth Roadrunner, driving past the Howard Johnson restaurants and the Stop ‘n’ Shop grocery, driving alone, for driving’s sake, with only the radio for company. In essence, however, Roadrunner is more than that: a song about what it means to feel young, and free, and charged by the world. It’s a song about how glorious it feels to be alive.
Now, I’m no music expert (“Call Me Maybe” is still at the top of my playlist), but all I can say is I’m glad that Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up to Boston” isn’t in this race.
Gawker suggests it doesn’t have to be a competition; rather Massachusetts can have two state rock songs:
Maybe, in the event these guys won’t quit, Massachusetts’ legislators will be smart enough to follow Colorado’s lead: In the wake of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris’s mass killing, there was a move to replace A.J. Fynn’s 1915 tribute “Where the Columbines Grow” with John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.” Instead, the state adopted them both as anthems. The Bay State has never had a rock song, so why not have two?
The bills must go through a public hearing, then through the House of Representatives before they finally land on Governor Deval Patrick’s desk for a final signature. Anyone know what tunes Patrick is jamming to on his iPod?
The Bay State currently has a state song, “All Hail To Massachusetts,” which includes a section that literally makes you spell out the 13-letter state name, so it’s no wonder why it never really gained popularity on Kiss 108 or whatever station the kids are listening to these days. We have no state rock song at the moment.