Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Monday, July 14, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Baseball's anthem, 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game,' turns 100.

CLEVELAND — It's the third most frequently sung song in the United States, yet few know all its lyrics. It's been recorded by more than 400 artists, from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa. It's been performed live by Mike Ditka and Ozzy Osbourne - with varying skill levels.
Six-year-olds and 96-year-olds know its chorus by heart, and it rises into the summer air each night at ballparks around the U.S., as thousands of joyous voices sing as one.

Hastily written on a New York subway 100 years ago - or so the story goes - "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has made it from Tin Pan Alley to YouTube.com, and with help from Harry Caray, baseball's anthem has never been more popular. "I like the song. It's about baseball, so what's not to like?" said Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

A sign advertising a game at the Polo Grounds inspired singer Jack Norworth to write a tune about America's favourite pastime. Or so he claims. In about the time it takes to play an inning, Norworth had some lyrics about a baseball fan named Katie Casey whose boyfriend called to see if she'd like to go to a show. Her emphatic response is the chorus "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," which trails only "Happy Birthday" and "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the most frequently performed songs, according to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

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