Thursday, April 27, 2006

Baseball Songs

I don't like to change posting dates, but I'm adding so many songs here, and this predates the time a lot of people started visiting the site, so I'm making an exception here. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, or something like that. Originally posted April 2, 2006. Last revised May 16, 2006

I'm ignoring the fact that the baseball season is one game old. Baseball starts Monday, during the day, and nobody can tell me otherwise.

There are very few sports-related children's songs that come to mind. I can understand why, as sports like football and hockey require a lot of equipment and are typically for older kids (this is especially the case for football). Basketball and baseball are easier to play, perhaps -- less equipment, introduced at an earlier age. Since the major sports typically become mostly a spectator sport as we grow up, perhaps it's good that there isn't much children's music about sports since a song about watching other people do something is kinda depressing as a kids' song. (It does make me think that the genre of children's soccer songs is a niche waiting to be filled.)

In any case, the list of songs about baseball for all ages is reeeeeeaaaaalllllllly short. (OK, not so short anymore) Here goes:

-- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (well, duh) -- try Wiggleworms Love You, from the Old Town School of Folk Music (nicely bipartisan, cheering for both the Cubs and White Sox)
-- "Baseball Dreams" -- off At the Bottom of the Sea, by Ralph's World (Cubs all the way in this one)
-- "I'm Gonna Catch You" -- off Under a Shady Tree, by Laurie Berkner (it has one relevant line -- "So I jumped into Saturday / And I had a baseball batter-day" -- yeah, I'm really reachin' here)
-- "Centerfield" -- off Centerfield, by John Fogerty (not kids' music, but a great song anyway)
-- "Talkin' Baseball -- off countless albums by Steve Cashman, who just re-records and updates his song -- baseball history lesson in 3 minutes
-- "Big Train" -- off the RTT's Turn It Up Mommy!, as noted in the comments. About Walter "Big Train" Johnson. I'd probably disagree that he's the best pitcher ever, but that's another blog. Good song.
-- "Right Field" -- Peter, Paul and Mary. Again, see the comments.
-- "Cryin' in the Dugout" -- off Daddy-A-Go-Go's upcoming Eat Every Bean and Pea on Your Plate album. A humorous song -- "Baseball Dreams" played for laughs instead of nostalgia.
-- "The Greatest" -- Kenny Rogers. See the comments.
-- "Roll Around" -- Peter Himmelman, off of his My Lemonade Stand CD. A fun, rollicking song about a baseball who retires, then comes back to his calling.

And finally, an artist reviewed here on this very site wrote me to suggest four more songs, including at least one I'm miffed I forgot... the comments in quotes are the artist's, not mine.

-- "Catfish" -- off Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series. I am unfamiliar with this one. But it's Dylan.
-- "Joe DiMaggio’s Done it Again" -– Wilco and Billy Bragg, from their Mermaid Ave Vol. 2
-- "A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request" –- Steve Goodman – "Classic, and very funny." See "Talkin' Baseball," above.
-- "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" -- Brave Combo - "two very cool versions... wacky and fun." It's Brave Combo, how could it not be fun?
If any of you have more suggestions (or can point me to a family-friendly soccer song), leave me a comment.

5 comments:

Warren Truitt said...

stefan,

i came across these guys the other day: http://www.rttkids.com

they have a song called "big train", but no, it's not another "choochoo! whoowhoo!" ditty. it's about walter johnson, pitcher extraordinaire for the washington senators.

Dru said...

Don't forget Peter, Paul and Mary's baseball song "Right Field", a funny and touching song about being one of the kids that always get picked last.

Eric Herman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric Herman said...

Stefan, check out "The Greatest" by Kenny Rogers. It kind of works as a kids' song, too.

David said...

Ok, I know this post is a couple of years old, but there's a really nice new addition. Justin Roberts recently released a song called "Pop Fly." The story's very similar to Right Field by Peter, Paul & Mary, but it's fast & fun. My 3 year old loves it!