For chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!
By Chris Moore:
What a day! To begin with, it’s a beautiful day for an opening day baseball game at CitiField, made even more beautiful by their 7-1 win over the Marlins. This extends their opening day winning streak to five years in a row, thanks to Johan Santana’s spot-on start and an all-around excellent performance by the first incarnation of the 2010 Mets. I say “first” because, after last season, you never know how the lineup will shift and change.
I rushed home right after my faculty meeting ended today, in time to catch the final three innings. Although I had planned to continue my tribute to the music of Breaking Bad, I was simply too excited about opening day to not tie that in to my Monday post instead. Thus, I looked up the roots of the classic baseball anthem “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Apparently, it was first conceived as a set of lyrics by vaudeville star Jack Norworth. Later, it became a Tin Pan Alley tune after Albert Von Tilzer set Norworth’s words to music. Ironically, neither writer would see their first baseball game for decades to come.
Modern listeners — myself included until I researched this song today — are familiar with the chorus of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” which is typically played during the seventh inning stretch as an audience chorale. I listened to broadcaster Edward Meeker’s phonograph recording on YouTube and was surprised to hear the two verses.
Of course, I couldn’t resist learning this song!
And, of course, there was no easily accessible, accurate version available online.
After searching multiple sites, I was able to find a set of chords based on the original composition (but only for the chorus) and a .PDF of the original sheet music. I used the latter to type the lyrics, and I referred to the former to start my transcription. I found another source of chords that had some errors, but I was able to pick up some subtle chord changes that I added. I also found an entirely incorrect version (with errors in chords AND lyrics). Now that I’ve finished transcribing the verses, I’m happy to add this complete version to the Laptop Sessions blog for your reference. If you notice any change that I missed, please comment below — I’ve come a long way since I began learning songs for these sessions, but my ear for this sort of work is still far from perfect.
So, on that note, I’m going to leave you to watch tonight’s video. I’ve written a lot for the blog this weekend, so I think that less is moore… (If you’re looking for other baseball-related videos, though, you can search above for my two from last season: “Walter Johnson” and “Joe Dimaggio Done It Again.”)
See you next session!