In this edition of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to “There used to be a ballpark”, performed by Ol’ Blue Eyes, a.k.a. Frank Sinatra. In this song from his comeback album Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back, Sinatra took a sentimental journey to the Golden Age of baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants were still part of the baseball landscape in the Big Apple.
The song was written by Joe Raposo, a Portuguese-American songwriter, composer, pianist and TV-writer and lyricist who is best known from the theme song of Sesame Street.
The song “There used to be a ballpark” expresses the sadness of the loss of a baseball team and its ballpark, which once gave its fans and players joy, along with other childhood delights such as “rock candy and a great big Fourth of July”.
Many believe the song refers to the loss of the Brooklyn Dodgers and especially the New York Giants (of which Sinatra was a big fan) and their successor, the New York Mets as the following phrase is referring to two different teams: “Cause the old team just isn’t playing And the new team hardly tries.”
The lyrics of this sentimental song are as follows:
“And there used to be a ballpark where the field was warm and green
And the people played their crazy game with a joy I’d never seen
And the air was such a wonder from the hot dogs and the beer
Yes, there used a ballpark right here
And there used to be rock candy and a great big Fourth of July
With the fireworks exploding all across the summer sky
And the people watched in wonder, how they’d laugh and how they’d cheer
And there used to be a ballpark right here
Now the children try to find it
And they can’t believe their eyes
’cause the old team just isn’t playing
And the new team hardly tries
And the sky has got so cloudy
When it used to be so clear
And the summer went so quickly this year
Yes, there used to be a ballpark right here”
Thanks to the phrase “And the sky has got so cloudy when it used to be so clear…”, the song can also be seen as a metaphor for any loss.