Thursday, July 21, 2016

Go Cubs, Go #GoCubsGo

You may say this is a corny song.  You likely are right.  But I love it:

Maybe if you knew its history...

Steve Goodman.  An American folk music singer-songwriter.  From Chicago, Illinois.  The writer of "City of New Orleans," made popular by Arlo Guthrie.  Winner of two Grammy Awards.  And a diehard Chicago Cubs baseball fan. 

In long-suffering mode, he wrote this song and sang it from one of the Wrigley Field rooftops:

He smiles as he sings it.  It brings him joy, even with its lyrics of hopelessness.

"Year after year after year."  "After year after year after year."

People didn't know Steve Goodman was dying from leukemia back then.  It made the song have a double meaning, once Chicago found out.

The Cubbies banned the song from Wrigley Field.  Later, on the radio, Steve Goodman agreed to write a new song.

And so was born "Go Cubs Go."

I love how the Cubs go from the "doormat" of the National League in one song to winning it in the next.  I love its joyful tone, and joyful lyrics too.

Steve Goodman died on September 20, 1984 - just months after writing "Go Cubs Go" and just four days before the Cubs went to their first playoff appearance in decades.  His brother did try to spread his ashes as he asked. The wind blew, and it didn't quite work.  So goes the story.

"Go Cubs Go" has been the Cubs' theme song at various times, most recently now - 2016.  It's Steve Goodman's voice that plays.  The announcers give time, before doing post-game analysis, to allow the song to play through - and allow the fans to sing along - when the Cubbies win at Wrigley Field.

Of all years, this one makes "Go Cubs Go" particularly poignant.  If Steve Goodman hadn't written the song about his long-time suffering, we would not have such an optimistic song now.

Life can be tough as a Cubbies' fan.  Not this year.  Not too bad.

Yes, they get paid oodles of dollars to play.  But doesn't it feel like they also are playing because they love the game so much? 

So yes - "Go Cubs Go" may be a corny song. But I love it.  Steve Goodman would love it too - would love to hear it played, game after game, win after win - would love to watch the home runs land out on Waveland Avenue, like they do right now.

This song matches this team right now. I suppose, in a way, it always will - just like a Dying Cub's Fan Last Request is the team's iconic match, on the opposite side of the coin.

Hey Chicago! What do you say? The Cubs are going to win today!


1 comment:

m l kroon said...

the one thing that has to change, is to change the wording of the song. to the cubs have won today. also the w flag is supposed to be for home wins only: the more you know (rainbow) nice blog