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BONUS TRACK: "News and Tributes," by the Futureheads, a more up-tempo treatment of the same subject.
28 A DYING CUB FAN'S LAST REQUEST
Steve Goodman, 1983
Goodman is most famous for writing the original version of Arlo Guthrie's 1972 hit "City of New Orleans." But the singer-songwriter's wry look at the deathbed wishes of a Wrigley Field bleacher bum is just as powerful. Goodman's fan says: "Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly. . . ./And I'll be ready to die." It's especially poignant, though, knowing that Goodman had leukemia when he wrote the song and died a year later, on Sept. 20, 1984—12 days before the Cubs played in their first playoff game since 1945. Goodman was scheduled to sing the national anthem before Game 1 of the NLCS but had to be replaced by his pal Jimmy Buffett.
BONUS TRACK: "All the Way," by Eddie Vedder, lead vocalist for Pearl Jam (the group was originally called Mookie Blaylock). It's also a love song to the Cubs.
29 SHOOTING HOOPS
G. Love and Special Sauce, 1994
A valentine to pickup ball from the Philadelphia alternative hip-hop band. The music is a slow blues, but the message is upbeat: "Lunch from a hot dog stand, a pretzel and a pop/We've been playing all day 'cause we've had this court nonstop." The group, which pledged its allegiance to the Sixers in "I-76," also gives a shout-out to the run at Philly's Seger Park as the city's best.
30 THE WARRIOR'S CODE
Dropkick Murphys, 2005