‘Roadrunner’ Probably Won’t Become the Official State Rock Song of Massachusetts

A last-ditch effort to get a vote on the bill seems to have failed.

The bill to make “Roadrunner” the official state rock song of Massachusetts dies today, and with it, the hopes of all who thought we might officially adopt the Modern Lovers ode to aimless driving on the streets of this lovely Commonwealth (marred, though it is, by governmental dysfunction and ruined dreams).

Bill H.3573 was filed in February 2013 by then-state representative Marty Walsh at the urging of Joyce Linehan, now Walsh’s chief of policy. The bill instantly got media attention and vocal support. Surprising? No, not surprising. A of all, it’s a pretty good song. B of all, it has the lyric, “I’m in love with Massachusetts.” C of all, as Ryan Walsh points out at BDCwire, the current official state song “All Hail to Massachusetts” is a forgettable bore.

So the bill made it out of committee. Its momentum was then somewhat slowed by a rival faction out of the South Shore, led by Duxbury Rep. Josh Cutler and Marshfield Rep. James Cantwell who made a motion to name Aerosmith’s “Dream On” the official Massachusetts state rock song. After some debate, “Roadrunner” still seemed to be the top contender. Since then, it has been up to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo to take action on the bill. He did not, and the formal legislative session came to an end. In recent days, a last ditch effort has arisen. Supporters urged people to petition DeLeo to bring the bill up for a vote in an “informal session” before the new legislature is sworn in. But, barring some legislative witchery or a reenactment of the film “Lincoln,” that’s probably not going to happen. Linehan says she won’t ask anyone to reintroduce the bill in the next session. It’s hard to imagine it getting more press and support a second time around. This felt like its moment. And so, the idea is likely dead. “Roadrunner,” sorry to say, will remain the unofficial rock song of Massachusetts.

Comedian John Hodgman, a prominent supporter of the bill, is not happy, and he took to his blog to say so.

“This was only the most harmless and perfect idea in the world until it was sideswiped by legislative weirdness and Aerosmith. The latter I can understand; the former mystifies me. If you can’t get a straight up/down vote on a SONG, how can you even run a WHOLE COMMONWEALTH? ”

How, indeed?