Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Is The Worst Line Of “Go Cubs Go”?

Please vote in the comments.

A. “Well you better get ready for a brand new day.”

It’s super-generic and seemingly chosen only to rhyme with the equally generic “Baseball season’s underway”.

B. “Well this is the year and Cubs are real, So come on down to Wrigley Field”

Cubs are in fact real, however, I think you meant “and the Cubs are for real” and poetic license only gets you so far. “And Cubs are real” is a strange thing to say. Also, real and field don’t rhyme.

C. “Baseball time is here again, You can catch it all on WGN”

Pandering to the Cubs and their broadcast network in one simple terrible line. Plus I thought that baseball season was already underway! I was getting ready for a brand new day!

D. "So stamp your feet and clap your hands, Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.

No, no they don’t.

Update: If you'd like to learn more about Steve Goodman, buy this.


DannyNoonan said...

The dumbest part of the song is that it predicts a win after the win has already occurred.

Jodi said...

You have to work really hard to spit out the WGN line!

The first time I heard this song I didn't think it was real, as it's just so weird.

Clay Eals said...

Brewed Sports:

Great to see your post dissecting Steve Goodman's "Go, Cubs, Go." Goodman often doesn't get his due.

You might be interested in my 800-page biography, "Steve Goodman: Facing the Music." The book delves deeply into the genesis, context and effects of "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and its semi-sequel, "Go, Cubs, Go."

I must say, in response to point D, that the song was written by Goodman in early 1984 after Cubs GM Dallas Green wouldn't let Goodman play his "Dying Cub Fan" at Wrigley Field, and WGN had asked him to compose an alternate Cubs song. So it makes sense that he included WGN in the lyrics. In fact, WGN released "Go, Cubs, Go" as a single that summer, and it eventually outsold any of Goodman's previous singles and albums.

In response to point B, I do believe the lyrics include "the" before Cubs. As for the rhyme of "real" and "field," Goodman in live performance often made fun of his rhyming, particularly in Lincoln Park Pirates, in which he rhymed "ruin" and "lagoon." He self-deprecatingly would say, "That's a cheap rhyme." And in fact, "real" and "field" make for a pretty good rhyme. The vowel sound certainly matches, and the "d" in "field" is almost silent anyway.

You can find out more these songs and Goodman at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the biography's first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography.

If you're not already familiar with the book, I hope you find it of interest. 'Nuff said.

Clay Eals
1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
Seattle, WA 98116-1958

(206) 935-7515 home
(206) 484-8008 cell

E.S.K. said...

I always preferred The Wonderful World of Sex, personally.

"You're concave, I'm convex, welcome to the world of sex"

What a great line, too bad he'll always be remembered as the hack who wrote Go Cubs Go. "Dying Cubs Fan" is a much, much better song.

Clay Eals said...

To E.S.K.:

There is no question that "Go, Cubs, Go" does not represent the brilliant complexity of the whole of Goodman's lyrics, but he was a die-hard Cubs fan, and when asked by the Cubs/WGN (when he didn't have a record contract and when he was six months from his death) to write a Cubs song that could be played at Wrigley, he jumped at the chance. In fact, he vowed it would be "an anthem." And he was right. Regardless of the song's simplicity, chills go up my spine when 40,000 people refuse to bolt for their cars and stand and sing along with the song at the end of a Cubs win. Goodman would have loved it. Where else in a major-league ballpark does that happen? It was a true phenomenon that bloomed starting in 2007 (after the song was the official Cubs song in the mid-1980s and occasionally played thereafter), and who doesn't love something that grows from the grass roots?

"Dying Cub Fan," agreed, is much more representative of Goodman's genius. Perhaps the thing to be content with is that "Go, Cubs, Go" probably has prompted a lot more people to hear "Dying Cub Fan" than would have heard it otherwise.

A final point: While Goodman popularized "The Wonderful World of Sex," the song was written by Michael Smith, who also wrote "The Dutchman" and the "Spoon River," songs that are as poignant and affecting as "Sex" is hilarious.

Clay Eals

PaulNoonan said...

So your vote would be for A then?

Clay Eals said...

Well, I'm not really voting. Just wanted to clarify a few points made by other posters. I guess that's the blessing/curse of a biographer!

By the way, I forgot to say in my previous post that the reason I mentioned "The Dutchman" and "Spoon River" is that Goodman popularized them.

Clay Eals

PaulNoonan said...

Just a joke, Clay.

DannyNoonan said...

Ha. I love it when we get comments like this. Thanks Clay.

We'll add a link to your book on Amazon.

Clay Eals said...


Thanks for your kind words, and for the link.

The better link is my own site because when someone orders the book there, he/she not only gets a discount but also gets a signed postcard, which is a useful bookmark for an 800-page, four-pound tome.

(The comment about the book I'm fondest of came from a reviewer who said, "Most people want to write a book that you can't put down, but you've written a book that you can't pick up!")