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Indiana Wants Me

by

R. Dean Taylor



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

In this song, a man is in trouble with the law after murdering another man who said something insulting about a woman who is either his wife or lover (Talk about overreacting!). The man is lonely and scared. He's tired of running and hiding from the Indiana police, and he misses his wife/lover and their child.
On early copies of this song, it opens with the wail of a police siren, which is later heard during the instrumental bridge. The siren sounded (for its time) so realistic that some drivers pulled over to the side of the road when they heard the song on their car radios. When the confusion was discovered, Rare Earth (the record company that Taylor was signed with) gave radio stations (particularly those that were too skeptical and/or scared to play the song) a second version without the siren. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for above 2)
When this song hit the charts, Taylor become one of the few white artists to score a hit for Motown Records. He was already a successful songwriter for the label, with a hand in writing the hit "Love Child." "Indiana Wants Me" was his only American hit, but in England, he also scored with "Gotta See Jane," "There's A Ghost In My House" and "Window Shopping."
Indiana wanted him because he defended his lady's honour, apparently with a gun. In the July 6, 1974 issue of Melody Maker, Taylor explained the inspiration for the song.
'I was living in a fleabag hotel and one night I heard these sirens and somebody was breaking in a store below. I looked out and police had surrounded this store and I turned my tape-recorder on. I saw Bonnie and Clyde a couple of times and with those two things that's how I came to write "Indiana".'
Although there are no sirens on the later release of this song, it does include a police radio. Along with "There's A Ghost In My House" this was unarguably Taylor's biggest hit, and unlike "Ghost..." it sold well on both sides of the Atlantic, topping the singles chart in his native Canada.
This was released on the Rare Earth label backed by "Love's Your Name" and also on Tamla Motown backed by "Gotta See Jane". (thanks, Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3)
R. Dean Taylor
More R. Dean Taylor songs
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Comments (22):

Can someone please help? I swear I recall hearing this song get airplay on a family trip to California in August of '69, yet everything I've read about it says it was released in 1970. Could this be possible? Also, if you get a chance to listen to another song of R. Dean Taylor's, called "Taos New Mexico," I recommend it!
- David, Vancouver, BC
This song, along with songs such as ...I Think I LOve You,If You Could Read My Mind,.... was rocking the airwaves of AM radio back when I was 13 in 1970......the 70's music is "funtastic"
- Rick, Belfast, ME
Bou(Bloomington): Oddly enough, I didn't hear it that often. Of course, I'm only a teenager, so that may explain quite a bit.

And I'm from Bloomington. Great place to live.
- Katie, Princeton, WV
Linda's comment about "why Indiana?" is--pardon the bad pun--dead wrong. The death penalty was still in force nationwide in 1970, when the song was released, and electrocution was widespread as an execution method. The first lethal injection did not occur in the US until 1982, so my guess is that electrocution was even the main method of execution in all US states at that time. Furthermore, Indiana abandoned electrocution in the mid-nineties, and electrocution remains an option in a couple of states even today.

All that said, I'm no judge of the song. You can well imagine it got played here in Hoosier Land until we were all sick of it!
- Bou, Bloomington, IN
i know for a fact that he was in love with a girl in Indiana who returned there from Detroit to go to school
- celia, maui, Brazil
I know for a fact that he wrote this song because he was in love with a girl from Indiana who left him to go to school and yes he has been in Indiana once
- celia, maui, Brazil
R Dean Taylor was more than a Motown engineer.
He was a staff writer and co-wrote the Supremes hit "Love Child". He had a minor hit in Canada with a song called "Taos New Mexico". After the geography thing ran out so did R. Dean string of hits. All in all he was a one hit wonder but it was a really big hit with Indian Wants Me.
- Peterwill, Zion, IL
The song is unusual because the bass aaand drums is a whole lot better than the guitar and vocals
- Joe, Sheffield, United Kingdom
I fell deeply in love with a woman in California. She moved to Indiana and I went to fight overseas. I returned almost a year later, and she told me that she was feeling depressed and needed a friend. I planned a suprise visit, when I arrived and called her phone, a man answered. She said she was sorry, but that she couldn't be with me. She later married him. This is such a great song, just a couple changes, and I could end up with the red lights flashing around me.
- Will, Memphis, TN
Indiania wants me is my all time favorite song. When I hear it it actually brings tears to my eyes. I have the 45 rpm and on cd. There are actually 2 versions but the very first one is my fav. Wish I could see R.Dean Taylor make a video of this.
- Michele Raucheisen, Philly, PA
Great song.I have the song on cd & when i first play it in my car people have actually pulled over or looked confused.The sirens are at the beginning.
- James, yucaipa, CA
I've loved this song since I was a child. I seldom hear it but when I do the world stops and I get chills from head to toe. And don't even try to talk to me while it's playing!
- Lisa, Milwaukee, WI
I've loved this song since I was a child. It's very seldom that I hear it but when I do the world stops and I get chills from head to toe. I can't explain it. And don't even try to talk to me while it is playing!
- Lisa, Milwaukee, WI
I believe that they mentioned the state of Indiana for the subtle political reason that it sounded better than the names of most other states in that context.
- Mark, Lancaster, OH
The storyline of this song is vaguely reminiscent of the TV show "The Fugitive," where Dr. Richard Kimble was on the run after having been convicted of murder (of his wife - not a man who insulted her). Kimble, of course, was innocent; R. Dean Taylor's protagonist all but confesses to the crime.
- Clarke, Pittsburgh, PA
T really liked the song. The title would also be connected to future Indiana University athletes. I remember both versions, with and without the siren. R. Dean Taylor captured life on the lam in under three minutes.
- Howard, St. Louis Park, MN
In answer to Mary's question about why write a song about Indiana, Indiana was the last state in the US to utilize the electric chair to enforce the death penalty; a particularly ugly and frightening way to go (remember the scene in "The Green Mile?")
- Linda, tucson, AZ
Im just very curious what made a canadian sing about Indiana law in Indiana wants me. Did he ever have a run in with hoosier law enforcment? So R Dean Taylor have you ever been to Indiana?
- mary, shelbyville, ID
Has one of the best throwaway lines ever "if a man ever needed dying, he did". Ranks right up there with " I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die".
- John, Levittown, NY
In his 1980 album "Joe's Garage," Frank Zappa tells the story of a garage-band member who gets imprisoned for his music. The arrest takes place at the end of track two, and it includes synthesized sirens and a voice seeming to come from a megaphone saying, "this is the police; we have the garage surrounded; give yourself up; we won't harm you, or hurt you, neither."
- John, Philly, PA
There could be a movie made from this.
- Randy, St Marys, OH
I've heard one or two covers of this song, but they were unpopular. I wouldn't mind hearing a new mainstream cover of it, but it most likely won't happen. The song doesn't really strike today's audiences, and the lyrics are kind of unique. It would still be cool.
- Josh, Pittsburgh, PA
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