I submit that John Mellencamp’s “Jack and Diane” is the song most representative of Indiana, though it’s a controversial pick. It’s unclear whether the song is about Indiana at all. If Mellencamp is to be believed, the song was inspired by the Tennessee Williams play Sweet Bird of Youth, which is set in Florida. A literal reading of the lyrics doesn’t reveal any obvious allusions to Indiana. Jack and Diane are said to be “growin’ up in the heartland,” but as far as I can tell Tastee Freez does not have a franchise in the state, so when the song’s eponymous pair are sucking on chili dogs, they may be doing so across the border in Ohio or Illinois.
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