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Take Me Out To The Ball Game

March 15, 2008 marks the 100th anniversary of a great American Tradition, the release of the baseball standard, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"  by Albert Von Tilzer and Jack Norworth. The third most popular song in America after Happy Birthday.

Allen Barra allen.barra@wsj.com wrote a full feature on "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for The Wall Street Journal last Saturday. Barra said the song's wild popularity "may have been sparked by the pennant races of a century ago, which had sports fans talking long after the 1908 World Series ended." "By the 1910 season, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was being sung at all the major league parks and on its way to becoming baseball's unofficial anthem. According to Tim Wiles, director of research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and co-author of the recent "Baseball's Greatest Hit: The Story of Take Me Out to the Ball Game" with Andy Strasberg and Bob Thompson, the song is performed about 2,500 times a year at major-league games."

tinzer Albert Tinzer b, Mar. 29, 1878, Indianapolis, IN, USA, d. Oct. 1, 1956, Los Angeles, CA, USA. né: Albert Gumm

jackIn 1909, it was sung in the Ziegfeld Follies by Nora Bayes -- the wife of Mr. Jack Norworth." One of the earliest recordings of the tune released in 1908 featured vocalist Edward Meeker (pictured). Mr. Norworth also wrote "Shine on Harvest Moon."

 

There are two verses in the original 1908 version; The long-forgotten opening verse of the song played off a theme that was much in vogue in 1908, the increasing popularity of baseball with women: "Katie Casey was baseball mad, had the fever and had it bad." When her beau asked her to see a show, Katie says no but "I'll tell you what you can do"; she then launches into the immortal line that gives the song its name. in 1927 Mr. Norworth revised the song, keeping the by-then-famous chorus but changing the two verses and the name of the female fan to Nelly Kelly.

 

Author: Jack Norworth
Composer: Albert Von Tilzer
Published on: 1908, 1927
Published by: York Music Company

Katie Casey was base ball mad.
Had the fever and had it bad;
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev'ry sou Katie blew.
On a Saturday, he young beau
Called to see if she'd like to go,
To see a show but Miss Kate said,
"No, I'll tell you what you can do."

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me 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 ball game."

Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names;
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, your out,
At the old ball game."
Take Me Out to the Ball Game

 

1927 Version

Author: Jack Norworth ©
Composer: Albert Von Tilzer
Published on: 1908, 1927
Published by: York Music Company

Nelly Kelly love baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names,
You could see her there ev'ry day,
Shout "Hurray," when they'd play.
Her boy friend by the name of Joe
Said, "To Coney Isle, dear, let's go,"
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him I heard her shout.

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me 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 ball game."

Nelly Kelly was sure some fan,
She would root just like any man,
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along, good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Nelly Kelly knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song.

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me 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 ball game."

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