Baseball related songs: “Brand New Game” by Willy Tea Taylor

In this episode of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to Brand New Game, performed by singer-songwriter Willy Tea Taylor. While looking for baseball songs, I bumped into this little gem.

This song will not be known by many European baseball fans as Willy Tea Taylor isn’t well known in the old world. I would say, do you self a favor and listen to this song at the end of this blog post. It is one of those little gems about baseball.

In this song, there are plenty of analogies between baseball and life. Taylor uses baseball as a metaphor as in his case, it connects three generations of fathers and sons.

Willy Tea Taylor comes from Oakdale, which is located Northeast of Modesto in California. Even though he comes from a long line of cattlemen, his first love was baseball. He used to be a catcher until a knee injury did not allow him to sit behind the dish anymore. So at the age of eighteen, Willy turned to music as he was inspired by artists like Bob Dylan, KISS, Weird All Yankovic and Willie Nelson. As a result, the music Taylor is playing is a mix of country, folk, and roots.

The song highlighted in this blog post was on the album Knuckleball Prime, which was released in 2015. On this album, Willy received support from greats like Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton), and Gabe Witcher and Noam Pikelny of the Punch Brothers.

Taylor explains how he got to the title of the album: “Most baseball players peak in their twenties, but knuckleball pitchers tend to blossom in their late thirties and early forties. I’m staring down my knuckleball prime.”

The lyrics of the song are as follows:

Oh, my brother moved away
Searching for that shining life
Now he’s working in a restaurant
And he’s cooking every night

Well, me, I stuck around
Just living in this town
I got so many friends here
It just keeps me around

And I’m dreaming every day
Here I’ll dream my life away
Like when I was a boy
I go catching for Detroit

And my brother was a Yankee
My buddy Wightey was a Met
We’d all win the pennant
With a game-winning hit.

Now Wight is digging ditches
And I’m unemployed
I grounded out on wishes
Far from little boys

And we never thought
Life’s gonna get so real
Cause we always thought
Life’s a baseball field

And even if we lost
We never complained
There’s always tomorrow
And a brand new game

My old man didn’t see us
Quite as often as he liked
But he taught me how to catch and throw
And baseball way of life

Like how to take a grounder
When it’s bouncing off your face
And picking up that baseball
Still gun him out at first base

He was born an outfielder
And he grew up on a farm
Catching flyballs in the pasture
He’s got a cannon for an arm

He taught me how to love life
Just when playing a game
He’s still dreaming ’bout the giants
Shaggin’ balls with Willie Mays

And he never thought
Life’s gonna get so real
Cause he always thought
Life’s a baseball field

And even if he loses
We never hear him complain
There’s always tomorrow
And a brand new game

Got a boy of my own
He’s gonna grow up to a man
And I teach him about baseball
So he will understand

How to take a pitch and strikeout
And get back at the plate
And crack one up the middle
Go three for four that day

And he’ll never think
Life won’t get so real
Cause he’ll always think
Life’s a baseball field

And even if he loses
I will never hear him complain
There’s always tomorrow
And a brand new game

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