Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Baseball Songs

If April wasn’t such an outrageously busy month in my life at this point in it, it would easily be my favorite month. It holds the birthdays of some of the most important people in my life. Spring is such a positive time of year. The sun is out longer and more often. The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, which is the best playoffs in sports. And baseball begins! As a Mariners fan, April is about the length of the typical Mariners season, before they are playing for next year. The way the last week has gone for them, you can tell April is about over.

One of the cool things about this April is that I have discovered two baseball themed songs from two of my favorite bands. I love stumbling across old music from bands I love. I am always amazed that can happen. I am a bit of a completest of my favorite bands. My favorite workday time waster website, Deadspin has been running a series of extreme slow motion replays overlaid by indie music. They dropped Cubs in Five by The Mountain Goats on this clip during the first week of the season. Here is the link to the whole song with a funny banana picture.

I’ve had the pleasure of being to Wrigley a several occasions. There is no way that you can go to Murphy’s before a game, sit in the bleachers with 50 new friends, hit the Cubby Bear after and not have a soft spot in your heart for the Cubs. When I’m root, root, rooting for the Cubbies at Wrigley, I don’t care if I never get back.

Cubs in Five isn't really about the Cubs at all. It is from the mid-90’s so the references to the Tampa Bay Bucs, who were the NFL’s version of the Cubs until about 2000, don’t make as much sense today. The Cubs winning, is basically saying “when pigs fly”. That is when our protagonist will love his former flame as much as he used to again. I cannot get the verse out of my head when I hear it. I think since John Darnielle is such a bad singer (but great song writer!), it encourages me to belt out the lyrics myself. At least when I’m alone. And my windows are rolled up.

One of my absolute favorite bands, The Hold Steady, have a new album out this spring. I suggest everyone give it a few spins, then save it to their favorites on their Spotify playlists. Originally from Minnesota, Craig Finn, The Hold Steady’s singer/songwriter, is a big Twins fans. He did a song called Don’t Call Them Twinkies that was hidden away on some baseball songs compilation. I bet this song would be even better if I was a lifelong Twins fan. I did have the pleasure of seeing a game in a sold out Metrodome and wave a Homer Hankey forever ago, but the experience didn’t make me a fan. My soft spot for the twins came 16 years ago in April.  I like the video to go along with the words. Makes it easier to follow for non-fans that are learning Twins history, not reliving it.

Now that I have found these songs, I am searching for more! What other of my favorite bands have baseball songs?? I know Eddie Vedder did a Cubs song . As a Pearl Jam fan, I would have preferred a Mariners song, but I’m glad it’s not this one. This is more of an Irish drinking song. Low marks.

Do The Black Keys have a Reds anthem? Does Queens of the Stone Age have a hidden track extolling the virtues of Dodger Stadium? Does Arcade Fire have an old Expos expose? Perhaps Foo Fighters’ My Hero was about Randy Johnson.

If you come across any, lemme know. 

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