|Ohio River, 1832|
When I sorted the list of Ohio videos and grouped them into loose categories the first two in this post belonged together – they are a fit. They are both murder songs, both folk songs, both sad and melancholy. Both of them are set on the "Banks of the Ohio.” Now for their differences. . .It is doubtful that they would have the same audience. The first is an old folk ballad that has been done by every performer imaginable. It probably appeals to an older more traditional crowd. After seeing a myriad of videos of this song I've decided that Charlie Pride did it best for me.
The second song will probably appeal to a younger audience with eclectic tastes. It hasn't been recorded by a zillion performers. It is modern and edgy and echoes the older song, bringing the murder folk ballad up to date, without being a copy. It may be that when ‘Banks’ was first sung it was thought of as shocking, weird, and quirky.
What is it about the Ohio River? Ah, if the river could talk. . .Banks of the Ohio by Charlie Pride, 1968
Cursing the Ohio by Matt King, 2009
This last video is one I almost didn't include as the two above make a nice set. Yet, this one fits in with its melancholy. Like the other two it is very Ohio. It is young and wistful and homesick. The song is dedicated to those who have lost their jobs and had to move away from their beloved state to pursue their dreams. This reminds me so much of the songs my beloved wrote and sang so sweetly with his guitar, and it has a graphic element he would've liked. . .it leaves an ache. . .
Ohio, by Jeff Davidson and Friends, 2013
Banks of the Ohio, Tsukikage726, YouTube, Apr 2011, by Charlie Pride (1968)
River picture: Wikipedia, Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834" by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839).
Cursing the Ohio, Independent Music Awards, YouTube, Dec 2009, by Matt King.
Ohio - Original Song, Jeff Davidson, YouTube, May 2013, by Jeff Davidson and Friends.