Iowa Stubborn

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"Iowa Stubborn" is a song by Meredith Willson from his 1957 musical The Music Man. It is the first sung number in the show and follows the show's unusual spoken opening, "Rock Island". The piece is sung in a schottishe or "soft-shoe" rhythm, and in the lyrics, the reserved and stoic citizens of River City, Iowa seek to persuade an unknown person (who turns out to be Professor Harold Hill) to "give Iowa a try." They sing of their "chip on the shoulder attitude we've never been without that we recall. ... And we're so by God stubborn we can stand touchin' noses for a week at a time, and never see eye to eye."

Eight Iowa cities are named near the end of the song, in the following order:

  1. Dubuque
  2. Des Moines
  3. Davenport
  4. Marshalltown
  5. Mason City (Willson’s birthplace)
  6. Keokuk
  7. Ames
  8. Clear Lake

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