Take Me Out to The Ball Game

By | Mar 31, 2008

Another baseball season is about to begin. One hundred years ago the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, Their second in a row. They’ve been trying to have a repeat series win every year since. It was also in 1908 that the song, Take Me Out to The Ball Game was written.

Jack Norworth was a vaudeville performer and a Tin Pan Alley songwriter when he saw the sign “Baseball Today — Polo Grounds” promoting a ball game at the home stadium of the New York Giants. This gave him the idea and he began writing the words to the song.

Harry Von Tilzer was a popular music composer of Tin Pan Alley working with a number of lyricist, including Norworth. Von Tilzer put a tune to Norworth’s two verses and chorus. By the end of 1908 the song was a hit and has been ever since.

It’s the chorus of the song that is commonly sung and that everyone seems to know. Few people have heard or even know that the song has two verses. In fact there are two versions of the lyricss one that was written in 1908 and a revised version that Norworth wrote in 1927.

The song is about Katie Casey, a young girl who had baseball fever and wants to go to all of the home ball games. She was so familiar with the team she knew all the players by their first name and would tell the umpire when they were wrong.

Neither Jack Norworth or Harry Von Tilzer were baseball fans. In fact it’s reported that Norworth didn’t actually attend his first baseball game until 32 years later on June 27, 1940 and Von Tilzer saw his first 20 years after composing the music.


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