"Carmen Ohio" (Latin: Song of Ohio) is the oldest school song still used by Ohio State University. The song was composed by freshman Fred Cornell on the train ride home from Ann Arbor, Michigan, after Ohio State suffered an 86-0 loss to the University of Michigan Wolverines. Set to the tune Spanish Hymn, or Spanish Chant, the Men's Glee Club first performed the song in 1903; however, it did not gain popularity until after its October 10, 1906 publication in The Lantern. At the following Ohio State-Michigan football game on October 20, 1906, Carmen Ohio was published in the program. In 1915, Cornell recalled that he wrote the song in 1903 at the request of the Men's Glee Club, and other family members later stated that the train story might be an exaggeration or outright fabrication. Currently, after every home football game in Ohio Stadium, win or lose, the football team and the crowd sing the first verse of Carmen Ohio, accompanied by The Ohio State University Marching Band.
Band director Jack Evans and arranger Richard Heine adapted the song to the brass band for which Ohio State is famous. The sound of chimes from the Orton Hall bell tower (which themselves are based on the Westminster Quarters) were added as an introduction to the song.
Small selections of the lyrics, arranged at random, may be found on campus in the Ohio Union building.
- Script Ohio: Evolution, 2003