Baseball related songs: “We are Family” by Sister Sledge

In this episode of Baseball related songs, we pay attention to “We are Family”, performed by Sister Sledge. The song was a big disco hit in the seventies when the Disco music was at its heyday.

The song was written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, another huge disco act from the seventies. After Chic had a major hit with “Dance, dance, dance”, Atlantic Afbeeldingsresultaat voor We are family sister sledgeRecords wanted Rodgers and Edwards to write for other acts on the label. The first result was “We are family.”

The song refers to the four sisters of Sister Sledge, Kathy, Debbie, Joni, and Kim. The song was released as a single in 1979 from the album with the same name. Even though Sister Sledge had several no. 1 hits in the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart with “He’s The Greatest Dancer” and “Lost in Music”, “We are Family” became the group’s signature song.

Through the years, the song has been used for several TV shows and movies: Spongebob Squarepants, Sesame Street and the Muppet Show (all adapted versions) and The Birdcage, The Full Monty and Mission Impossible III.

You may wonder what the link to baseball is. Pittsburgh Pirates will know for sure.
After the song was released in 1979, it was picked up by the Major League team as their theme song during it’s magical run that led to the World Series win.

According to the players of that 1979 team, the team really was a family.

“We just treated each other like we were brothers,” said bench player Mike Easler, who was nicknamed “The Hit Man” for his batting prowess. “All of us got along and if you didn’t get along with somebody, Willie (Stargell) made sure you got along with everybody.”

According to second baseman Phil Garner, first baseman Willie Stargell was the guy who made the Pirates a family. “He was so well-loved and respected by everybody,” Garner said. “We had guys from Panama, black players from the ’hood, white players from the ’hood, we had all kinds of socioeconomic backgrounds. I think Willie Stargell’s presence and leadership held all that together.”
Afbeeldingsresultaat voor stargell stars
Stargell handed out so-called “Stargell Stars”, gold stars that were given to players who made great contributions to the team. Those stars were attached to the players’ pillbox caps, the Pirates wore in those days.

“This team was much different than any team I played for,” John Candelaria stated. “There were some teams that I won’t name that I can’t believe how quiet it was in their clubhouse, as opposed to the lunatics I dealt with here. We were boisterous in the clubhouse, but when we crossed the lines, the guys played. We believed in ourselves.”

The song helped according to Phill Garner.

The lyrics of the song are as follows:

[Chorus]
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody sing
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody sing

Everyone can see we’re together
As we walk on by
(Fly) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won’t tell no lie
(All) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We’re giving love in a family dose

[Chorus]
We are family
Yeah, yeah, ah
I got all my sisters with me
I have, I have
We are family
Get up everybody sing
(Sing it to me)
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody sing

Living life is fun and we’ve just begun
To get our share of this world’s delights
(High) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal’s in sight
(We) no we don’t get depressed
Here’s what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won’t go wrong, oh-no
This is our family Jewel

[Chorus]
We are family
Yeah, yeah, sing it to me
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Oh I can hear you now
Get up everybody sing
We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
(Get up now)
Get up everybody sing

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody sing
We are family

A big thank you goes out to Henk Knoop, who made me aware of a Spotify account with a lot of baseball-related music.

One Reply to “Baseball related songs: “We are Family” by Sister Sledge”

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