Tuesday Tunes: Diamond Ditty #6 – “Go Cubs Go” by Steve Goodman

20 10 2015

Go Cubs Go sign

While I’m a Reds fan first and foremost, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Cubs.  My mom is from Chicago originally, and I live there now.  More importantly, my Grandfather lived there for about 60 of his 90+ years, and growing up I always associated the Cubs with “Grumpa”.  Add to that the fact that I now live in the Chicagoland area?  Once the Reds were eliminated from any chance at the playoffs (which officially happened in early September, but realistically had happened in early June), I was rooting for the Cubs.  I’ve been to 3 Cubs games this year – all 3 vs the Reds. That’s actually less than the past 3 years – before I moved to the ‘burbs, when I could have walked to Wrigley.  But it’s been fun to see the city so interested in the Cubs, and this team of youngsters is as exciting as any I can remember.

Hopefully they win tonight!

Artist/Title/Album: “Go Cubs Go” by Steve Goodman (1984)

Included on No Big Surprise (1994), a posthumous collection of Goodman’s songs

Steve Goodman No Big Surprise

Description:  The song was written by Steve Goodman, a lifelong Chicagoan and Cubs fan.  Goodman had originally written a song in 1981 about the Cubs failures, titled “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request”.  The song lamented about the Cubs historic failures; naturally, it wasn’t played at Wrigley Field.  In 1984, WGN asked Goodman to pen a song they could use on their broadcasts, and thus “Go Cubs Go” was born.  WGN played it on their Opening Day broadcast that year, and it caught on as the Cubs made the playoffs for the first time in almost 4 decades.

Goodman was a Grammy-winning folk singer born in Chicago who got his break when he opened at a Chicago show for Kris Kristofferson.  This led to a string of events in which his song, “City of New Orleans” was covered by Arlo Guthrie.  The Guthrie cover got to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 list, and enabled Goodman to work full-time as a musician.  A number of other famous musicians covered it, including Willie Nelson whose recording reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country list.  That recording earned Goodman a Grammy for Best Country Song in 1985.  Goodman won a 2nd posthumous Grammy for his album “Unfinished Business” in 1988.

How it’s related to baseball:  The song lasted as the official team song for a few years, and has regained popularity over the last 10-15 years.  It’s now the official victory song played after Cubs win.  Last week after knocking off their rival Cardinals, you could hear the fans at Wrigley singing it a mile away.

Sadly, Goodman did not live to see most of the song’s popularity, or even the Cubs’ 1984 playoff appearance.  He succumbed to a 15-year battle with Leukemia a few days before the end of the season.  Jimmy Buffett sang the National Anthem in his friend’s stead at the first playoff game at Wrigley.

Steve Goodman Cubs singles

Go, Cubs, Go!
Go, Cubs, Go!
Hey Chicago, what do ya say?
The Cubs are gonna win today!

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4 responses

20 10 2015
K Taylor

I grew up in Toronto with the Blue Jays and was a pretty happy kid when they had their back-to-back wins. But living in the Chicagoland area for awhile (from 98-04) gave me a deeper love for the Cubs and they’ve been my team ever since. (But during this AL series, I’ve had to root for the Jays of course.)

21 10 2015
chuckneo

Yeah, wish they could figure out a way to beat the Mets!

24 10 2015
mrcoach00

Nice write up. I really like that little video of the stadium singing from what has to be blocks away.

24 10 2015
chuckneo

Thanks! Yeh I used to live 2 blocks from wrigley. Wish I could have gone back in time for that 1 day for that!

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