Nov. 2, 2016 – West Bend, WI – In honor of the World Series, Decorah choir brings you “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
On a history note: The follow article on the history of the song came from Bill DeMain at Mental Floss.
Did you know that “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” was written by a guy who had almost no interest in the sport? In fact, after he came up with the idea for the song, it took Jack Norworth over 30 years to get around to taking in his first major league game.
At the turn of the last century, Norworth was a vaudeville entertainer, best known for his spirited hoofing and blackface routines. He also dabbled in songwriting. The story goes that in the summer of 1908, he was riding the New York subway when he saw a sign: “Baseball Today at the Polo Grounds!”
The ad for the New York Giants home game got him thinking. Was there a better example of a nationally shared experience than a ball game? Always on the lookout for commercial ideas, he scribbled down a verse and a chorus with the title “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” (his original handwritten lyrics are now on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame).
Norworth took the words to composer Albert Von Tilzer, his collaborator on hits such as “Meet Me In Apple Blossom Time” and “Honey Boy.” Von Tilzer wasn’t much of a baseball fan either, but he recognized a potential hit and in less than an hour, dashed off a jaunty melody that fit the lyric like a well-oiled glove.
The first recording of “Ball Game,” by Edward Meeker, was a huge success. Sheet music and piano rolls of the song flew out of music stores. While there had been other baseball songs – “The Baseball Polka,” “It’s Great at a Baseball Game” and the similarly titled “Take Your Girl To The Ball Game” – they were only bloop singles. “Take Me Out” was a home run.
What really knocked the song out of the park, of course, was its almost instant ubiquity at baseball stadiums across the country.
Not all of the song was heard though. To read the rest of the post click HERE.