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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
The Weakerthans, 2007
Who has the greatest song about curling? None other than this Weezer-ish band from Winnipeg. Here the sport of stones and sweepers is both setting and metaphor. Over beers at a bonspiel, a lonely narrator likens his inability to communicate to a curling rock sliding by its target: "Why can't I draw right up to what I want to say/Why can't I ever stop where I want to stay?" Appropriately enough, the tune rocks.
Dropkick Murphys, 2004
"Tessie" was originally a Broadway standard from The Silver Slipper, a turn-of-the-19th-century play, about a woman singing to her parakeet. But during the first World Series in 1903, between the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston rooters sang it so relentlessly and annoyingly that it was said to distract the Pirates, who blew a 3--1 lead and lost the best-of-nine Series. The Murphys knew their history and released a version—updated with lyrics about the Red Sox—in the summer of 2004. Sure enough, that year Boston pulled off one of the greatest rallies in baseball history, coming back from a 3--0 deficit to beat the Yankees in the ALCS and then winning the team's first World Series in 86 years. In the album's liner notes the band says, "We recorded this song in June 2004 and after giving it to the Red Sox told anyone that would listen that this song would guarantee a World Series victory. Obviously no one listened to us or took us seriously. . . . Luckily for us things turned around for the Red Sox, and the rest is history."
Jane Siberry, 1989
A sports song? While this Canadian singer-songwriter is more closely associated with Grey's Anatomy than, say, the Grey Cup, she sings an ethereally sweet and impressionistic tune about the joys of pond hockey. But even shinny can get rough. Siberry drops a couple of f bombs and makes a nice reference to the riots in Montreal after NHL president Clarence Campbell suspended Maurice Richard for the playoffs in 1955 because the Rocket had slugged a ref. (A Canadiens fan later slapped Campbell during a game at the Montreal Forum.) "I remembered the purity of staying outside just to stay outside, the feeling of cold cheeks, sisters picking up and brushing off their younger brother," says Siberry. "The response to the song has been very strong. It seems remembering pure things brings a sense of loss, but it can be a good reminder to weave such joy into our lives."
22 THE HITTER
Bruce Springsteen, 2005