‘Roadrunner’ Gets a Second Chance to Become Official Rock Song of Massachusetts

The motion will be considered at a State House hearing on October 20.

The second time might be the charm.

Once again, there’s a bill on the docket at the Massachusetts State House to declare “Roadrunner” by the Modern Lovers—a “geographical love song” penned by Natick native Jonathan Richman—as the official rock song of the commonwealth.

Filed by Sen. Bob Hedlund and Rep. David Linsky, the bill will be considered at a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. on October 20 by the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.

It’s a resurrection of a bill initially proposed in 2013 by then-state representative Marty Walsh and Sen. Bob Hedlund, which died in January 2015 without making it to the floor for a vote.

During its lifespan, the original “Roadrunner” bill was also challenged by another motion, filed by Rep. James Cantwell and Rep. Josh Cutler, to make “Dream On” by Aerosmith the state’s official rock song instead. That bill died in January 2015 as well.

In addition to “Roadrunner” and other matters, the hearing on October 20 will also consider the fates of the spring peeper as the state’s official amphibian, gingham as the official textile, Bell’s Seasoning as the official seasoning, Cyrus E. Dallin as the official sculptor, “14 Counties of Massachusetts” as the official country song, the Smith & Wesson .500 Magnum revolver as the official revolver, the five elements of Tai Chi as the official Tai Chi form, the Lisette deLisle as the official Mother’s Day flower, and New England clam chowder as the official state dish and appetizer.

While it currently lacks an official rock song, Massachusetts does have an official song (“All Hail to Massachusetts”), an official folk song (Arlo Guthrie’s “Massachusetts”), and an official polka (“Say Hello to Someone from Massachusetts”).