An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!
Well, the city I call home is surprisingly still standing after the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in over 100 years. As I’ve explained before, I’m not much of a fan of watching sports, but I do enjoy the celebration behind something so historic. The Cubs winning has brought a smile to almost every Chicago resident over the past few days and it was a sight to see the massive amount of people that showed up for their victory rally. Continuing on with that celebratory mindset (and since Nerdoween is sadly over) this week’s column is chock full of baseball tunes!
John Fogerty “Centerfield”
I’m not going to pretend there is a “definitive” baseball anthem because the personal preferences surrounding baseball related music are just about as varied as fandom for a particular team. However, as someone without a favorite team, I suppose today’s picks are as impartial as possible. I simply decided on songs that exude baseball nostalgia even for those who aren’t fans. John Fogerty’s 1985 hit “Centerfield” surely fits that criteria, as it’s one of those songs that we all seem to learn by osmosis, never really paying attention to it but still, somehow, knowing all the words. Okay, well maybe just the chorus.
Dropkick Murphys “Tessie”
Alright, I know how divisive this song (and Red Sox fandom) can be. Along with Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”, these two songs are probably two of the most invasive earworms in the baseball world. Having lived in Rhode Island till 2008, I know first hand how deviously these can work their way into your head. BAH BAH BAHHHHH!!!! Dammit. I’m sorry. It’s the Diamond song. Get’s me every time. However, even if you’re not a fan, “Tessie” is a song to be appreciated. At first listen you may only think it’s an everyday punk song about the Red Sox, but the story behind it is what makes it so neat. Taking its name and a good portion of the lyrics from an early 1900s song “Tessie (You Are the Only, Only, Only)”, it revitalized a centuries-old Boston tradition: annoying the crap out of people.
The original song was used by the Royal Rooters fan club to taunt the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 1903 World Series and, at least anecdotally, was said to have worked by one of the Pirates. Other than that neat bit of history securing my fellow New Englander’s reputations as the OG trolls of America, you’ve got to admit the song is catchy and one hell of a rally cry for the Boston Red Sox.
Vulfpeck “1 for 1, DiMaggio”
If you’re a fan of this column, you’re probably aware of my recent obsession with Vulfpeck and the infectious pop/funk they produce. So it’s got to be kismet that they recently released a new album that just so happens to have a song about baseball on it. Is it wrong to want this song to be incorporated into every ballgame somehow? Maybe, in addition to the 7th inning stretch, teams could incorporate some sort of 4th inning dance party to this song.
Terry Cashman “Talkin’ Baseball (Willie, Mickey & The Duke)”
Is it too presumptuous to think that almost everyone with access to the internet has, at some point, heard some part of this song? I’m sure this is played at every MLB ball field or adjacent bar in America in some capacity. Those who haven’t heard it, rare as they may be, are most likely otherwise covered by hearing the parody from the 1992 episode of The Simpsons “Homer at the Bat.” What’s not to love about a song that recounts all manner of Baseball players and events from the MLB? Nothing, that’s what. This song is great.
Well, I’m still not a baseball fan (sorry to almost everyone I know), but there’s a lot to love about the game and the music it inspires. What are your favorite baseball-oriented songs? Share them in the comments below!