The Story Behind the Music

Jon McLaughlin’s “Honest-to-Goodness Indiana”

What is Honest-to-Goodness Indiana? Well, one definition is embodied in our own Jon McLaughlin, an Anderson native and current Indianapolis resident. Jon has done so well on the pop music scene but has chosen to keep his feet and family firmly planted in his home state. When he heard about the new Honest-to-Goodness Indiana brand, he was very enthusiastic about writing an original song to help bring the idea to life through words and melody.

As Jon so eloquently says in the lyrics, “every corner has a story,” and “the light is on for one and all in Indiana.” The lyrics become an ode of love for our Hoosier state, rallying our own residents to feel a sense of pride and home, while also inviting out-of-staters to visit. When the song was first released, the comments on social media expressed a resounding expression of gratitude and pride in our home state.

The 4 1/2-minute song was trimmed to fit 30- and 60-second television and radio spots. While the message was still clear and beautiful, it seemed a shame to leave the full song just as an audio download. So the next step? Let it live on as a full-version music video.

The Indiana Office of Tourism Development had commissioned the filming of new footage in southern Indiana, and we collected existing video from destinations around the state. It was important to IOTD that only Indiana vendors be used in the creation of the video, keeping true to Honest-to-Goodness Indiana. The videographer, producer, editor, crew, sound designers and color correctionists were specifically chosen from Indiana. Even the Subaru Outback that you see driving through the scenes was manufactured right here in Indiana.

The video lives on YouTube, where it’s been viewed close to 17,000 times. The song is also available for download at iTunes. It features close to 40 destinations, many that might surprise those not as familiar with Indiana as they thought they were. And everything about it is Honest-to-Goodness Indiana.

About Jon McLaughlin

Singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin won a school competition at Anderson University, where he was studying piano, that allowed him to release his self-titled debut album in 2004. After another release, he auditioned for major labels, which led to the nationwide release of Indiana in 2007. His career got a boost later that year when he and his Oscar-nominated song, “So Close,” were featured in the Disney film, Enchanted. Popular singles have included “Industry,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Human,” “Beating My Heart” and “Summer is Over” (featuring Sara Bareilles).

Lyrics

HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA
Jon McLaughlin

the sun comes over the horizon
the east slowly wakes the west
another day starts to dance on the hills that I know best

every corner has a story
every sunset has a field
fireflies and grapevines, they decorate the years

THAT’S HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA
OH THE PLACE THAT I BELONG
I CAN SEE MILES OF GREEN ROLLING ON (AND ON…)
HONEST TO GOODNESS I BELIEVE IT
UNDERNEATH THAT MIDWEST SKY
THE LIGHT IS ON FOR ONE AND ALL IN INDIANA

Mellencamp is down in Seymour
the birds are chirping in French Lick
the bells rung in Anderson ring out over Indianapolis

THAT’S HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA
OH THE PLACE WHERE I BELONG
I CAN SEE MILES OF GREEN ROLLING ON (AND ON…)
HONEST TO GOODNESS I BELIEVE IT
UNDERNEATH THAT MIDWEST SKY
THE LIGHT IS ON FOR ONE AND ALL IN INDIANA

where the sun shines on the dunes
and the peonies bloom

…HONEST-TO-GOODNESS INDIANA
OH THE PLACE WHERE I BELONG
I CAN SEE MILES OF GREEN ROLLING ON (AND ON…)
HONEST TO GOODNESS I BELIEVE IT
UNDERNEATH THAT MIDWEST SKY
THE LIGHT IS ON FOR ONE AND ALL IN INDIANA