Tag Archives: John Denver

Songs of the Rust Belt

When I was a little girl my mom used to sing me an old cheer called “We’re Strong for Toledo.” My grandma used to sing me John Denver’s “Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio.” The songs portrayed two very different cities: one a proud metropolis, the other a laughing stock.

I thought it might be interesting to look at the most famous songs devoted to Rust Belt as a way to examine how these cities are portrayed in pop culture, and also how that image has changed over the years.

For example, the song my mother used to sing to me, judging by the slang, was written in the 1950s or sooner, Toledo’s heyday. It goes like this: Continue reading


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