Monday, August 10, 2015

Oy. The music played at Yankee games is giving me agita.

Make it stop! Please!
The Yankees really need to have somebody overhaul their music at games. For a franchise that prides itself on dignity and classiness, there is so much hokiness surrounding the Yankees' in-game entertainment. And the first person who needs to go is Kate Smith! She was one of the many topics my friend Dean and I discussed last Tuesday at the Yankees-Red Sox game we attended together. More specifically, it was her rendition of "God Bless America," which sounds at Yankee games like it's being played on an old Victrola, that has driven us nuts.

Dean would like to see the song gone for good. I would be happy either with only having it performed on Sundays, the way other teams do, or with having it performed live each night. Either way, the Kate Smith rendition sounds dated and awful; the sound quality is horrendous. It makes me long for the days of Ronan Tynan!

The latest "American Idol" winner performed the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the game we were at, but most of the time, the Yanks simply play a recording of the National Anthem. Which is pathetic in a place like New York City. How is it that the Mets can have an actual live person singing the song almost every time, but the Yankees don't bother? (An aside: I told Squawker Jon that the Mets ought to have "Started From the Bottom" by Drake as their theme song this year. Jon said that when he hears the name "Drake," he thinks of the duck on the Drake's Cakes!)

Heck, I run in a road race almost every weekend, and almost every single time, from the biggest races to the smallest, somebody sings the National Anthem in person before the race. Imagine that! Why can't the Yankees?

Then there are the Yankee-only traditions that won't die, even though they are way past their shelf life. The grounds crew doing "YMCA" was amusing -- 20 years ago! Now it's just tired. Either come up with more current song/dance moves or ditch the whole thing.

And "Cotton Eye Joe" was never fun. Ever. It's a dumb song, And the fact that it is "Cotton Eye Joe" and not "Cotton-Eyed Joe" drives this professional proofreader nuts! What is the connection to the Yankees, exactly? Because this song was a hit 20 years ago, when the Yankees first got good again? And who the heck is Cotton Eye Joey, anyway? To top it all off, even the control room this tool is dancing around in has a corporate sponsor. Enough! (Update: I just discovered what the song is really about -- an STD. Disgusting!)

The few bright spots when it comes to music at Yankee Stadium are some of the walkup music choices. A-Rod currently has "Run This Town" as his theme song, which is perfect for him. But my favorite is Brendan Ryan having "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood as his walkup music. Back in the day, when I used to sneak into nightclubs in Manhattan like Limelight and the Peppermint Lounge when I was still in high school, I used to hear that song all the time. The idea that it would be walkup music for an MLB player is even more shocking than The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" getting played during games!

Finally, here's my advice for the Yankees the next time they trot out that scratchy Kate Smith recording: Relax, don't do it!


Uncle Mike said...

"God Bless America" is a holdover from 9/11, and George kept it because he always wanted us to remember what a good American he was. It's time to put it away: bin Laden is dead, the new World Trade Center is up, and besides, the song never did anything for the victims that "The Star-Spangled Banner" didn't already do.

Ronan Tynan. His rendition, including the rarely-heard verse, was so long, he was on the field longer than some Yankee pitchers. Especially in the Torre and Girardi eras.

"YMCA." Does anybody in the Stadium know what the song is actually about? Hint: It's not rated PG.

I hate "Cotton Eye Joe." I always have. It's every bit as stupid in New York as John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" is in Baltimore, also a big tough Northeastern city that loves its hardcore sports. However, I can tell you that the original Cotton Eye Joe, now replaced by Cotton Eye Joey, was fired for showing up drunk, just like the original Bernie Brewer was.

changeovermark said...

I go to a lot of Yankees games, and some Mets games, too. The Kate Smith is beyond my last nerve. They even show it during broadcasts and show a policeman's cap. The Mets have it done live; I like the glee clubs doing Star Spangled Banner, and if God Bless America is done live, it would have more meaning. I like YMCA, because they have no idea what it means. Sometimes, the Yankees play an old Robert Merrill recording of the Anthem, or the U.S. Military Band or something, and they sound like they're coming from a Victrola, too. The Cotton Eye Joe is excruciating. It's funded by Pepsi, and the hat giveways the other night were awful, as were the Jamaica Tourist Association totes. Hell, Vin Scully just offered a squirting portable fan from the Dodgers. Yankees need an overhaul. The Mets have snazzier player photos on the Jumbotron. Yankees are very dated, and the sound system is atrocious. On the debit side, the Mets play Mitch Miller's sing along men for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," with the newer lyrics, while the Yankees use the organ, which I like.
I do have a guilty pleasure for Tanaka's Japanese pop entrance song, which he commissioned. They show a video when Andrew Miller comes on (Johnny Cash - God's Gonna Cut You Down) and it's fun.

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