More Than The Chorus

by Randy Murray on September 15, 2014

You probably know all of the words to “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.”

Or do you?

What you probably think of as the whole song is only the chorus. And when you see the full song the meaning changes, and I believe, becomes richer.

This popular song is about a young woman, a “baseball mad” fan, and the little part that you know is her expressing her deepest wish about how to spend a summer’s day. Forget Harry Carey. It’s Katie Casey that you should be thinking of.

Katie Casey sings about her love of the game. It’s about a female fan. This song, now in the public domain, was written in 1908.

Katie Casey was baseball mad,
Had the fever and had it bad.
Just to root for the home town crew,
Ev’ry sou
Katie blew.
On a Saturday her young beau
Called to see if she’d like to go
To see a show, but Miss Kate said “No,
I’ll tell you what you can do:”

Chorus

Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Just buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.

Katie Casey saw all the games,
Knew the players by their first names.
Told the umpire he was wrong,
All along,
Good and strong.
When the score was just two to two,
Katie Casey knew what to do,
Just to cheer up the boys she knew,
She made the gang sing this song:

Repeat Chorus

Yes, the chorus is a national treasure, but the whole song is a pleasure. I play it on the ukulele and it’s great fun to sing the whole thing.

There are many, many other “standards” that people only know the chorus to. Take “White Christmas,” for instance. Why are we wishing for snow on Christmas? Because the intro tells us that the singer of the bittersweet lament is in LA.

Look closer at those songs you think you know and find out what you may not know about them.

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