LYRICS

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1. The Curse (Of the Billy Goat)

"Billy Goat" Bill Sianis 

Had box seats to game four

Of the '45 World Series

Cubs versus Detroit

One seat he would sit in

The other was for his kid

A goat by the name of Murphy

Who the Cubs had always admitted

 

That day an usher wouldn't let them 

To their box at Wrigley Field

So directly to the owner

PK Wrigley he appealed

The answer came from Wrigley

It was final and succinct

He said there’d been a few complaints

Some people didn’t like the stink

 

Sianis, he was livid

His face was turning blue

He went out past the turnstiles

Onto Waveland Avenue

The vendors on the sidewalk

Say he raised his arms up first

And with his hands above his head

They say he placed The Curse

 

Just then a cloud passed over

From the lake a chilly wind

Anybody within earshot

Woulda had goosebumps on their skin

The skeptics say baloney    (it’s hoo-ha)

The poets make up verse

60 some years later

They still blame it on the curse

 

Those two box seats bore witness

As the Tigers took the game

Like they would games five & seven

The Cubbies came up lame

Ol' Billy Goat Sianis 

Got the last word, Holy Cow

He telegrammed Mr. Wrigley

Asked him “Who smells now?”

It stared at Leo Durocher

Stared right at his lip

And Leo stood there staring back

With his hands upon his hips

On the top step of the dugout

A cat the color of a hearse

They blew a nine game lead in '69

People say it was The Curse

 

They were playing for the pennant

In 1984

Against the San Diego Padres

They only had to win one more

To advance to the World Series

But they slipped into reverse

And when Durham flubbed a grounder

People blamed it on the curse

 

Most recently, 2003

And just five outs away

When a Cubs fan tried to catch a foul

While the ball was still in play

The lockers had been plasticised

But the bubble had just burst

The Marlins drank the champagne

People blamed it on The Curse

 

Just ask someone in Boston

How long it took to break

The Curse of the Bambino

With its annual heartache

And every time it happens

It just feels that much worse

They say there’s always next year

And that might be The Curse

 

2. Roberto   

 

Punta Maldonado, off the Puerto Rican coast

People sometimes meet there to offer up a toast

To the greatest baseball player they ever called their own

Who went off on a mission, and never made it home

 

The earthquake was horrific, the aid was pouring in

Roberto helped to organize a whole planeload to send

The Nicaraguan junta had been looting all it could

He’d fly with it to make sure it got to all the neighborhoods

 

It wouldn’t pass inspection, the plane that he would hire

The pilot that came with it, his license had expired

A local huckster owned it, he wasn’t sure it flew

He kept that to himself but the paint on it was new

 

The plane was overloaded, the cargo not secured

Standard operating procedures were totally ignored

The engine didn’t sound right said the people on the ground

When it took off for Managua & tried to circle back around

 

People still remember where they were that New Year’s Eve

When the word began to spread and hardly anyone believed

Helicopters hovered all throughout the nights

Just above the water sweeping with their lights

 

They never found Roberto & the search went on for days

Frantically at first and then they found his leather case

No one could bear to call it off and so they carried on

The divers never found him, Roberto, he was gone

 

Punta Maldonado, off the Puerto Rican coast

People sometimes stand there looking for his ghost

The greatest baseball player they ever called their own

Who went off on a mission, and never made it home

3. Disco Demolition Night  

 

Good riddance to the 70’s when disco was the rage 

12” vynyl singles, lip synching from the stage       

The White Sox near the cellar, there were mostly empty seats                       

There was the usual sarcasm from the writers on the beat

The owner of the White Sox was a fellow named Bill Veeck                 

Master of promotions, things you never would expect

The guy who signed a midget and sent him up to bat   

He signed off on an idea even crazier than that

 

In between games of a twilight doubleheader

A Rock & Roll DJ would blow up disco records

If you brought an LP and dropped it in the crate

Admission would only be 98 cents at the gate

 

On the busses to the ballpark there weren’t a lot of kids

There weren’t a lot of baseball caps, or a lot baseball mitts 

People had been drinking long before they paid their fares     

Traffic on the Dan Ryan backed up to O’Hare

 

Comiskey Park, Chicago, didn’t have as many seats

As was needed to accommodate the thousands in the streets

They started climbing fences, they started climbing poles

They had come to conquer in the name of Rock & Roll   

 

A slight miscalculation, they had underestimated

By just how many people disco was so deeply hated

More police were needed but nobody thought to call   

A person on the sidewalk burned a John Travolta doll

 

It really was a miracle no one was killed or maimed

By disco record frisbees throughout the opening game

Some shattered on the dugout, some knifed into the grass

Some numbskulls roamed around looking to kick somebody’s ass

 

The White Sox lost the opener whether anyone noticed it or not

There was trouble brewing in the air but all you could smell was pot

The crowd was getting restless for the real show to begin

When the grounds crew came a’ hauling all those disco records in

 

The jeep the DJ rode in on stopped in centerfield

The driver left the motor running, kept his hands upon the wheel

One foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the brake  

Lorelei the supermodel, she just smiled and waved

 

The crowd was in a frenzy, they were yelling “Disco Sucks!”

It was very nearly rapture when they blew the records up

Sky high went the pieces, some landed in St. Paul  

Most people yelled “Whoo-Hoo!” and drank more alcohol

 

About then a bunch of knuckleheads jumped the right field wall

The jeep got through it just in time before the free for all

There were several thousand of them tearing up the grass

Lighting things on fire, more than half an hour passed

 

Harry Caray stood at home plate, his face as red as beets

He pleaded through the PA system, “Go back to your seats!”

The crowd began to mimic him with a “Go back to your seats, HEY!”

The couple having sex at 2nd base did not obey

 

The cops arrived on horseback, encircling the riot     

Things calmed down in a hurry, things pretty soon got quiet

The 2nd game was forfeited, the ball field was a wreck

But disco was eradicated partly thanks to Mr. Veeck

 

Good riddance to the 70’s when disco was the rage   

12” vynyl singles, lip synching from the stage

The White Sox near the cellar, there were mostly empty seats   There was the usual sarcasm from the writers on the beat

 

4. The Bellyache Heard Round The World

 

He showed up for Spring Training

With 40 pounds to lose 

He’d spent the winter partying

But that was never news

He wasn’t feeling all that good

Throughout the training camp

The Babe would run a fever

And he often had the cramps

 

After leaving Florida

On the way back to New York

The Yankees played the Brooklyn Robins

On an exhibition tour

They stopped in Chattanooga

The Babe hit 2 home runs

The next game was in Knoxville

Where he hit another one

 

The train left the next morning 

For Asheville, North Carolina

Going across the mountains

The tracks twisting and winding

The Babe joined in a card game

His cheeks and forehead burned

He really didn’t look so good

His teammates were concerned

 

At the Asheville station

When the train came to a stop

The Babe stepped onto the platform

Then suddenly he just dropped

They took him to the hotel

And put him into bed

A newspaper in London proclaimed

“The Mighty Babe is Dead!”

 

“The Mighty Babe is Dead!”

“The Mighty Babe is Dead!”

And before you even knew it

That’s what all the papers said

 

The team phoned a physician

Who could really only guess

It was his professional opinion

That the Babe just needed rest

He cautioned against travel

Anytime too soon 

The Babe departed Asheville

On the following afternoon

 

Thousands filled Penn Station

To try to catch a glimpse

As they carried him by stretcher

To the waiting ambulance

"Helen, I feel rotten,"

The Babe said to his wife

Before they took him to the hospital

And he went under the knife

 

(Chorus)

 

The Yankees tried to manage

All the rumors that would spread

He ate too many hot dogs

Supposedly they said

Some thought it was exhaustion

Some thought it was the flu

Some thought it could be syphillus

But no one really knew

 

The Babe he would recover

And hit lots more home runs

More than any other

By the time his playing days were done

It’s said he loved his women

And he often stayed out late

And that he liked the taste of liquor

And he did not watch his weight

 

(Chorus)

5. The Monrovians vs the klan

It was no place for a lady on a Sunday afternoon

In 1925 on the 21st of June

It was a hundred two degrees and even hotter in the stands

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

No strangleholds, no razors, no horsewhips were allowed

They put a couple extra policemen in the crowd

Other violent implements of argument were banned

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

The klan was not too popular in Kansas at the time

They’d already been exposed for their racketeering crimes

In Wichita they didn’t seem to have a lot of fans

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

Only baseball would be on tap at Island Park that day

Said the headline in the Beacon on the morning they would play

They were trying to head off trouble before the game began

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

The umps were Irish Catholic, they favored neither side

Out there on the field the rules were evenly applied

It was a very good game of baseball said the newspaperman

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

It was a see-saw battle, a pitchers duel through four

The Monrovians would break it open, ten to eight the score

And then drive off in jalopies, not those nice sedans

The day the all black Monrovians beat the ku klux klan

 

6. Death Row All-Stars

Where the Rockies meet the Plains

Towns rose up to meet the trains

Frontier justice handed down

Rawlins was that kind of town

They’d hang somebody now & then

Make some shoes out of their skin

Put them up there on display

Reminding folks crime didn’t pay

 

Wyoming built a state pen here

For the worst of men to spend their years

Tom Horn had been the last to hang

Before the shortstop Joseph Seng

Now all my teammates, one by one

And each of us a mother’s son

Will follow to the gallows pole

Lord have mercy on my soul

 

The day that Warden Allston came

He hung a picture he had framed

Of Connie Mack, his eyes ablaze

Sitting with his World Champ A’s

He ordered balls & bats & gloves

To form a prison baseball club

Teams from all across the west            

Would testify we were the best

 

Practice in the prison yard

Concrete diamond, pocked and scarred

I only lived to crush that ball         

Somewhere far beyond the walls

To places I won’t ever see

Go on ball, you go for me

Give those lawmen all the drop

Keep on rolling, never stop

 

On game days homemade banners hung

The streets were full, the bells were rung

The Carbon County Volunteer Band

Played for people in the stands

Dark blue flannels trimmed with white

They fit just fine, baggy or tight 

Compared to wearing prison blues

They kept us off the working crews

 

1911, 1912

Trophies on the warden’s shelf

We went 39 & 6

Against a clock that always ticks

The warden bet on us to win

So did the judge, the two were friends

Our executions would be stayed

Depending on how well we played

 

Yesterday I struck out twice

Lay all night on a bed of ice

The warden called me in this morn

Asked me for my uniform

Offered me a cigarette

Told me that my date’s been set

Tomorrow, should the sun still rise

I would be the most surprised  

 

This here 5 x 7 cell

At the old Crossbar Hotel

I’ll leave things just the way they are

The photographs, the baseball cards  

Whoever has to take them down

There’s one of me out on the mound

Send it to my Mama, please

And say I died from some disease

 

7. The Guy Who Came Up With The Ball

Flashbulbs were going off

As the batter approached the plate

They had to replace the balls

With ones they could authenticate

Everyone knew it was gone

One swing was all it took

The batter stood and admired it

The pitcher didn’t even look

 

The guy who came up with the ball

The one on the bottom of the pile

Was missing a couple of teeth

From his million dollar smile

He was sporting two black eyes

He was missing most of an ear

His shirt was torn & tattered

And his hair was soaked with beer

 

Going, going, gone

Oughtta make a nice souvenir

But you can kiss that baby goodbye

That ball is outta here

 

Security led him away

They pretty well saved his skin      

There was a doctor in the house

Put some stitches in his chin

The ball would pass the test

Under ultraviolet light

There was the asterisk

That was the ball alright

 

The guy who came up with the ball

Was famous for 3 or 4 days

Everyone wanted a piece of him

Everyone knew his face

Letterman wanted him on

So did Oprah and Conan O’Brien

The White House receptionist phoned to say

The President was on the line

 

Going, going, gone

Oughtta make a nice souvenir

But you can kiss that baby goodbye

That ball is outta here

The guy who came up with the ball

Heard from the IRS

They wanted their half a million

And not one penny less

“Going once, going twice…

Sold” said the auctioneer

But who can say what it’s worth

Except maybe the price of an ear

 

The guy who acquired the ball

Couldn’t tell you which was which

A fast ball from a change up

He was just filthy rich

His boy took it to school

His boy won show & tell

But the son of the guy who came up with the ball

Wished his dad didn’t have to sell

 

Going, going, gone

Should’ve made a nice souvenir

But you can kiss that baby goodbye

That ball is outta here

8. The Phenom 

 

Around the phenom cameras flash 

Even when he just plays catch

Way off down the 3rd base line

The fans have things for him to sign

The spotlight follows him around

Same thing in every town

Journalists and tv crews

Articles and interviews

 

The phenom in his senior year

Not even old enough to drink a beer

Hit 100 on the radar gun

With a change up that was 91

Even then he packed the stands

With as many scouts as there were fans

Every pitch they charted and graphed

He was the first pick of the draft

 

30 million gauranteed

Whether or not the kid ever succeeds

His teammates draw a grand a month

Sometimes the phenom picks up the tab for lunch

You can’t blame him, it’s not his fault

The team was willing to open the vault

No question that the kid can pitch

Someday he might make all of ‘em rich

 

The phenom drives a luxury car

Along the road to being a star

There’s a guy in every neighborhood bar

Showing off his elbow scar

He can’t miss say the analysts

No one’s ever seen anything like this

A dieing man made one last wish

It was to live to see the phenom pitch

 

On this kid they bet the farm

Him and his 24 carat arm

Every hiccup is a cause for alarm

Better not step on the foul line –

Better rub that lucky charm

 

Sometime around the end of May

They moved him up to Double A

It’s still the same, home or away

Rain or shine, night or day

Every game a sellout crowd

The kid keeps getting batters out

The talk show callers all say so

The phenom’s ready for The Show

 

9. Letter to Harry

 

Hey Harry, I thought I might drop you a line

It’s an afternoon game at the Friendly Confines

I’ve got a radio up to my ear

WGN coming in clear

Somebody else now is calling the pitch

Leading the crowd in the seventh inning stretch

Sometimes he even reminds of you

Just the odd moment or two

 

Every year, Harry, on the day that you died

When the local time is half past five

Wherever they are from coast to coast

To you Harry, Cubs fans will make a toast

They’ll put those funny glasses on

Thanks to you everybody knows the song

“Alright, lemme hear ya, sing it with me… 

With a one…a two…a three…”

 

Take me out to the ballgame, Harry

Take me out to the crowd

I’ll buy the peanuts and crackerjack

Whaddaya say we don’t ever go back?

We’ll just root root root for the Cubbies

If they don’t win, it’s a shame

It’s still one, two, three strikes you’re out

At the old ball game

 

Harry, since you’ve been gone we’ve let a few slip

World Series tickets yanked from our grip

We’ve thirsted for champagne the other teams sprayed 

Cancelled a couple of October parades

That infamous foul ball was blown to shreds

Of horsehide, cork, and a couple of threads

They served the remains in a curse-ending sauce

It still had the taste of that heartbreaking loss

 

I hate to tell you and you’ll hate to hear

That team from the South Side had one good year

They won a World Series, but what could be worse

The Red Sox have finally conquered their curse

Up north, where it’s winter, there’s less of a sting

When pitchers & catchers show up in the spring

When poets are putting it all into verse

And the Cubs are starting out tied for first

 

So gimme a blue sky, gimme a breeze

Gimme a brot or a boiger with cheese

You might as well throw in a brew

Harry, I’m hoisting this one for you

The voice on the radio next to my ear

 

Trying to be heard above all the cheers

It might be…it could be…it is a home run!

Holy cow, Harry, Cubs won!  Cubs won!

 

Take me out to the ballgame, Harry

Take me out to the crowd

I’ll buy the peanuts and crackerjack

Whaddaya say we don’t ever go back?

We’ll just root root root for the Cubbies

If they don’t win, it’s a shame

It’s still one, two, three strikes you’re out

At the old ball game

©2018 Chuck Brodsky  |  BMI