Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Take me out to the ballgame,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks,
I don't care if I ever get back.
Cause it's root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes you're out,
at the old ballgame.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908)This famous song was written by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer in 1908. Norworth wrote the words and Tilzer composed the music. Ironically neither musician had ever been to a major league baseball game when they wrote the song. Tilzer saw his first game in 1926 and Norworth waited until 1942. Norworth's life has been preserved in part in the biographical film Shine On, Harvest Moon made by Hollywood in 1944.
While clearly the most popular baseball song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is not the oldest known baseball-related tune. According to the Library of Congress the first baseball song was the "Baseball Polka" written in 1858. An interesting baseball tune title is "I Can't Get to First Base With You" written in 1935 by Fred Fisher and Mrs. Lou Gehrig.
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has been performed and recorded by a wide variety of musicians. Most recently Mandy Patinkin performs it on his album honoring Klezmer music, Mamaloshen (Nonesuch Records #79459-2). Andre Previn and Russ Freeman recorded the tune on their Double Play album (Contemporary Records OJCCD-157-2), which also contains other baseball-related songs such as Andre Previn's "Who's on First?" A review of Grateful Dead set lists reveals that on September 29, 1969 in New York's Cafe Au Go Go club, the Dead played the song while tuning up for another song ("Alligator."). Again on November 7, 1969 in performance at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco the Dead played "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" while tuning up to perform "Cold Rain."
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[Parody by The Animals]
Take Me Out of this BallgameTake me out of this ballgame,
Take me out of here now.
Put someone in who can throw the ball,
My curve is flat and I can't get a call.
So it's hit, hit, hit for the home team,
My E.R.A. is a shame
For it's one, two, three runs are in,
and I pray for rain.