"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is an iconic song sung during the seventh-inning stretch at baseball games. The origin of this beloved tradition can be traced back to the early 20th century.
The song was written in 1908 by lyricist Jack Norworth and composer Albert Von Tilzer. Interestingly, neither of them had ever been to a baseball game when they wrote the song. The inspiration for the lyrics came from a simple idea: a girl invites her beau to join her at a baseball game.
The original lyrics of the song go:
Katie, Katie, give me your answer true.
I'm half crazy, all for the love of you.
It won't be a stylish marriage.
I can't afford a carriage.
But you'll look sweet upon the seat.
Of a bicycle built for two.
The song was initially intended to be a vaudeville tune, unrelated to baseball. However, it quickly became associated with the sport, and in particular, the seventh-inning stretch.
The tradition of the seventh-inning stretch is believed to have originated during a baseball game at a New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants) game in 1882. It is said that President William Howard Taft attended the game and, feeling restless from sitting for so long, stood up to stretch his legs. The crowd followed his lead, and the seventh-inning stretch became a regular occurrence at games.
In 1934, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was played during the seventh-inning stretch at a high-profile baseball game, and the tradition of singing the song during this time was born. The song's catchy melody and baseball-themed lyrics quickly captured the hearts of fans, and it became a standard part of the game-day experience.
The song's enduring popularity is a testament to its catchy tune and its deep association with the American pastime. It has become a symbol of the joy and camaraderie that baseball brings to people of all ages, making it an essential part of the baseball experience for generations of fans.
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