In this episode of Baseball Related Songs, we pay attention to “Night Game,” performed by Paul Simon. After Mrs. Robinson and Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” it is the third song of this artist in this series.
Of course, you know Paul Simon from his cooperation with Art Garfunkel. The two met at elementary school in Queens, NY in 1953. After a successful career, their rocky cooperation led to artistic disagreements and their breakup in 1970. Their last studio album was Bridge over Troubled Water.
Paul Simon went on to have a successful solo career as well. After a career dip, he released his most successful album ever: Graceland. It was an album with a mix of several music styles like pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, zydeco, and mbaqanga.
The most successful song of the album, which happened to be the lead song too, was You can call me Al. In the video of the song, comedian Chevy Chase is having the leading role.
As Simon traveled to South Africa to record the album during the Apartheid days, he was briefly listed on the U.N. Boycott list but was removed after he indicated that he had not violated the cultural boycott. As a matter of fact, Simon recorded songs with several black South African Artists and groups.
Next to being a musician, Paul Simon had a brief acting career as well. He worked for the film industry, mostly as (song) writer.
The song Night Game can be found on the album “Still Crazy After All These Years.” The song is about a baseball game in which a pitcher dies on the mound. Unlike his early solo songs, this one was rather odd and silly. The song is about the triviality of things like sports in the face of mortality. The song is likely a metaphor for a lot of other things.
The Lyrics of the song Night Game are as follows:
There were two men down
And the score was tied
In the bottom of the eight
When the pitcher died
And they laid his spikes
On the pitcher’s mound
And his uniform was torn
And his number was left on the ground
Then the night turned cold
Colder than the moon
The stars were white as bones
The stadium was old
Older than the screams
Older than these teams
There were three men down
And the season lost
And the tarpaulin was rolled
Upon the winter frost