Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" Turns 100

3rd\SE Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

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, and with help from Harry Caray, baseball's anthem has never been more popular.

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.

A copy of Norworth's handwritten lyrics and the original sheet music are among the artifacts under a glass case at the Rock Hall's "Take Me Out: Baseball Rocks!" exhibit...
-- Canada Press

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