Baseball related songs: “Tessie” by the Dropkick Murphys

In this episode of baseball-related songs, we pay attention to Tessie performed by the Dropkick Murphys. Many European baseball fans may not have  heard of the group. The music genre the group is making is called Celtic Punk so it is a bit noisy at times.

In 1902 another song named Tessie was performed in the musical The Silver Slipper. Even though this original version of Tessie did not have anything to do with baseball, the song was picked up by the famous Royal Rooters, a group of Boston Red Sox fans led by Michael T. McGreevy, owner of the third base saloon. When the Boston Americans, like the Red Sox were named then, were trailing 1-3 in the 1903 World Series vs the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Royal Rooters started to sing every song they could think of, ultimately they came up with Tessie. Apparently, it helped as the Red Sox won the World Series. Rumor has it that the Royal Rooters even moved to Pittsburgh and sang Tessie over there to annoy the Pirates.

The chorus to the original “Tessie” goes:

Tessie, you make me feel so badly.
Why don’t you turn around
Tessie, you know I love you madly
Babe, my heart weighs about a pound
Don’t blame me if I ever doubt you 
You know I wouldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are the only, only, only. 

The fans began inventing their own lyrics to taunt the Pittsburgh players, such as:

Honus (Wagner), why do you hit so badly? 
Take a back seat and sit down
Honus, at bat you look so sadly.
Hey, why don’t you get out of town?  

Afbeeldingsresultaat

In 2004, the Boston area based Celtic Punk group Dropkick Murphys recorded a cover of the original Tessie. According to the group, it was the intention to bring back the old days of the Royal Rooters and put the Red Sox back on top. If this song is the cause, we don’t know, but in 2004, the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino and won their first World Series since 1918.

The second “Tessie”, which featured backing vocals from Red Sox players Johnny Damon, Bronson Arroyo, and Lenny DiNardo, Red Sox Vice President of Public Affairs Dr. Charles Steinberg; and Boston Herald sportswriter Jeff Horrigan (who co-wrote the new lyrics with the Dropkick Murphys), has become a theme song for the Red Sox and tells the story of the Royal Rooters singing the original “Tessie”.

Next to “Dirty Water” “Tessie” is one of the songs that is played after a Red Sox victory in Fenway Park.

The lyrics of the Dropkick Murphys’ version go as follows:

Tessie is the Royal Rooters rally cry
Tessie is the tune they always sung
Tessie echoed April through October nights
After serenading Stahl, Dinneen and Young
Tessie is a maiden with a sparkling eye
Tessie is a maiden with a love
She doesn’t know the meaning of her sight
She’s got a comment full of love

And sometimes when the game is on the line
Tessie always carried them away
Up the road from “Third Base” to Huntington
The boys will always sing and sway

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, “Nuf Ced” McGreevey shouted
We’re not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only

The Rooters showed up at the grounds one day
They found their seats had all been sold
McGreevey led the charge into the park
Stormed the gates and put the game on hold
The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston’s tenth man could not be wrong
Up from “Third Base” to Huntington
They’d sing another victory song

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, “Nuf Ced” McGreevey shouted
We’re not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only

The Rooters gave the other team a dreadful fright
Boston’s tenth man could not be wrong
Up from “Third Base” to Huntington
They’d sing another victory song

Two! Three! Four!

Tessie, “Nuf Ced” McGreevey shouted
We’re not here to mess around
Boston, you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Tessie, you are the only only only
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Boston, you are the only only only
Don’t blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn’t live without you
Red Sox, you are the only only only

“Tessie” was one of the songs that were featured in the baseball PC game MVP baseball 2005 by EA.

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