TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME

Bruce Springstone's version


Nelly Kelly loved baseball games
She knew the players and all of their names
You could see her up there every day
Shouting "hurray" as they'd play
Her boy friend by the name of Joe
Said, "To Coney Island, dear, let's go"
So Nelly started to fret and pout
And to him I heard her shout

"Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Oh won't you buy me some peanuts and some cracker jack
Well I don't care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root for the home team
If they don't win it's a shame
Because it's one, two, three strikes, you're out
At the old ball game"

Mmmm, mmm

Well Nelly Kelly was sure some fan
She would root just like any man
Told the umpire he was wrong
All along, good and strong
So when the score was just two to two
Nelly Kelly knew just what to do
Well just to cheer up the boys she knew
She made the gang sing this song

"Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Oh won't you buy me some peanuts and some cracker jack
Well I don't care if I never get back (I don't care if I never get back)
Let me root, root, root for the home team
If they don't win it's a shame
Because it's one, two, three strikes, you're out
At the old ball game
At the old ball game
At the old ball game"

Strike one!
Strike two!
Strike three!
You're out!!!!


Info

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME is a 1908 song credited to Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer. See the original version for more details.

The song was recorded by Bruce Springstone, a group created specifically for a Bruce Springsteen parody project. Their version is clearly sung in the style of Springsteen's ROSALITA (COME OUT TONIGHT). TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME was released on the B-side of Bruce Springstone's 1982 single Live At Bedrock (see the "Official Releases" section below for more details). A Bruce Springstone version of BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES was released on the A-side.

The above lyrics are for Bruce Springstone's studio version of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL as released in 1982.

Bruce Springstone

Bruce Springstone was created in the spring of 1982 by Baltimore's Tom Chalkley (cartoonist, singer-songwriter, and blues harpist) and Craig Hankin (painter, writer, and rhythm guitarist). The idea came at a party on St. Patrick's Day, during which Chalkley was singing TV show theme songs in the style of Bruce Springsteen. "Everybody hit the deck laughing," Hankin recalls told The Baltimore Sun in November 2009. "We thought, 'Oh, this is a funny idea.'" But the show stopper was Chalkley's Springsteen impression doing a rocked-up version of The Flintstones theme song, MEET THE FLINTSTONES. Keyboardist Suzy Shaw wrote in Backstreets magazine (issue #48, Winter 1995) that two DJs in the audience encouraged Chalkley and Hankin to record the song, and said that they'd play it one air.

Chalkley and Hankin were convinced that they should cut a record. They took the recording to Clean Cuts, a local record label then known for its jazz recordings, and played it for label owner Jack Heyrman. "[Heyrman] let me know a one-off novelty single was not exactly up his alley, but he was willing to listen," Hankin told The Baltimore Sun. "By the time we got to the end of the tape, he was chuckling. He said, 'I think we may have a novelty record here.'" Hankin discovered an original lyrics and music sheet to TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME, and they decided to record a Springsteen-style version of it for the B-side.

Record companies consider singles to be nothing but promotional tools for albums, and album sales is where the money's at. So naturally, Clean Cuts wanted an album as part of the deal. "We were dubious, however, as we considered the Springsteen parody to be a one-line joke that would not bear many repetitions," Suzy Shaw wrote in Backstreets. She told Craig Hankin, "Who would want to listen to an entire album of Bruce Springstone?" Hankin liked the name, and so the character came by that name.

Chalkley and Hankin recruited drummer and painter John Ebersbergr and keyboardist and comics scholar Suzy Shaw to record with them at Hit And Run Studios in Rockville, MD. The affordable studio was operated by an 18-year-old in the basement of the parents' house. They spent 16 hours over a weekend in June 1982 cutting the record. Clean Cuts owner Jack Heyrman, who also produced the record, decided that they needed good saxophone so that it sounds like a Springsteen record, and so veteran jazz saxophonist Ron Holloway was hired. Craig Hankin wasn't confident enough of his own lead guitar, so he invited in Tommy Keene, who had just gotten his first record deal. Gabor Lutor was also hired to play bass. The tracks were arranged by Craig Hankin and Tom Chalkley, produced by Jack Heyrman, and engineered by Steve Carr at Hit & Run Studios. Tom Chalkley wrote three other songs for Bruce Springstone – "Cave Girl", "Ugga Bugga", and an unfinished "I'm On Ice" – but none of them made it to record under Bruce Springstone.

The Bruce Springstone: Live At Bedrock single was released in September 1982 on Clean Cuts Records, just one week after Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album was released. Even though there was no advertising at all, the single was an instant hit and was spun on hundreds of radio stations in the U.S. and abroad. Upon it's release, many rock and college radio stations played the record, fooling their audiences who though that it was a new Springsteen record. The Washington Post reported that "when a Philadelphia station played it after simply announcing, 'Now the record you've all been waiting for,' the phones lit up for hours, with fans arguing whether it really was the Boss or not."

The single's front cover art is by John Ebersbergr and the back cover art is by Tom Chalkley. The front cover is a parody of the Born To Run album, picturing Flintstones characters Fred Flintstone and pet dinosaur Dino as Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons. Cartoon creators and producers William Hanna and Joseph Barbera had a problem. They approved the use of MEET THE FLINTSTONES, but they were against the sleeve artwork because they felt the cover art infringed on their trademarked images. After 35,000 copies of the single have been sold, Hanna and Barbera pulled the plug with a cease-and-desist order. The single would sell 100,000 copies taking into account the song's appearance on several Rhino Records collections.

MTV, which was just getting started, approached Bruce Springstone about making a music video for BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES. Tom Chalkley and Craig Hankin threw together a storyboard, Jack Heyrman hired a director, and they had costumes made. They filmed the video on 06 Dec 1982 at Genstar quarry outside the Baltimore Beltway in Maryland. Local crew of CBS's Evening Magazine was there filming Bruce Springstone filming their video.

Suzy Shaw wrote in Backstreets that before editing of the video even begun, the marketing people at Hanna-Barbera Productions threatened to sue Clean Cut. Though permission had been given to record The Flintstones theme song, they claimed that Bruce Springstone did not have permission to use the word "Bedrock" and that any cartoon depiction of a dinosaur violated their trademark on Dino. Clean Cuts, fearing to face a corporation as big as Hanna-Barbera Productions, decided to back down. All promotions for the record were stopped, production of picture sleeves was halted, and the music video didn't go anywhere. "It was the most expensive home video ever made," Hankin told The Baltimore Sun.

Several years later, wanting to know for sure if Bruce Springsteen has ever heard their record, Craig Hankin sent him a letter with a self-addressed stamped envelope telling him that they meant no disrespect and that they considered that what they had done to be a very loving and admiring tribute. Hankin didn't hear anything for a long time and forgot all about it until one day he received a postcard written and addressed in Springsteen's hand: "The record is great! I love it! Keep on rockin! Bruce Springsteen."

Official Releases

The Live At Bedrock single was released in 1982 and is now out of print. Both the A-side and the B–side can now be found on some Rhino Records various artists compilation albums.

Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock

7" single - Clean Cuts (CC 902) - USA, 1982

A1- BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES
B1- TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock

12" single - Clean Cuts (CC 1202) - USA, 1982

A1- BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES
B1- TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock

7" single - Clean Cuts / Quality (Q-2425) - Canada, 1982

A1- BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES
B1- TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock

12" single - Clean Cuts / Quality (QDC-42) - Canada, 1982

A1- BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES
B1- TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock
Bruce Springstone -- Live At Bedrock

7" single - Clean Cuts / Food For Thought (YUM 104) - UK, 1982

A1- BEDROCK RAP / MEET THE FLINTSTONES
B1- TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME
Various artists -- Baseball's Greatest Hits
Various artists -- Baseball's Greatest Hits

LP - Rhino (R1 70710) - USA, 1989
CD - Rhino (R2 70710) - USA, 1989
Cassette - Rhino (R4 70710) - USA, 1989
Various artists -- Baseball's Hits
Various artists -- Baseball's Hits

CD - Rhino Flashback (unknown catalog number) - USA, 2001

Credits

Thanks Jake (ol'catfishinthelake at BTX and Greasy Lake) for the lyrics help.

Request

Please contact me if you have scans for or info about any official release containing Bruce Springsteen's TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME that's not mentioned on this page. Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME on this website:

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME [Live 13 Jun 1973 version]
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME [Original version]
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME [Bruce Springstone's version]

Page last updated: 27 Jun 2016