Vaudeville lyricist gave us timeless standards

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Ballard MacDonald


Wrote "Somebody Loves Me" and "Second Hand Rose"

Lyricist Ballard Macdonald was born in Portland, Oregon on October 15, 1882.

After graduating from Princeton University he began writing lyrics for traveling vaudeville acts. His work on vaudeville eventually led to Broadway where he worked as a lyricist and librettist on several scores, including Ziegfeld’s 9 O’clock Frolic, Love Birds, The Battling Butler, Sweetheart Time, Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic (1919), George White’s Scandals of 1923 and Thumbs Up!.

Perhaps best known as the lyricist of Ohio’s official state song, “Beautiful Ohio”, Macdonald also collaborated with the great composers of his day to produce “Rose of Washington Square”, “Second Hand Rose”, “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers”, “Back Home in Indiana”, “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine”, “Play That Barbershop Chord”, “Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!”, “Somebody Loves Me”, “Bend Down, Sister”, “Down in Bom Bombay”, “On the Mississippi” and “She is the Sunshine of Virginia”.

Among the composers he worked with include Harry Carroll, Con Conrad, Joe Meyer, Sigmund Romberg, Albert Von Tilzer, George Gershwin, Jesse Greer, James Hanley, Victor Herbert, Lewis Muir and Walter Donaldson.

Macdonald also contributed lyrics to several Hollywood film, including Our Dancing Daughters, It’s a Great Lite, New York Nights, , On the Air and Off, All At Sa, The Big Casino, Big Benefirt, Supper at Six, Desert Harmonies, Speedy Justice, Rose of Washington Square, Cairo, Somebody Loves Me and Montecarlo.

Balalrd Macdonald was also a charter member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1914. He died in Forest Hills, New York on November 17, 1935.

ASCAP Charter member (1914)

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