October 25, 2007


Music plays part in Fenway's tradition (Alyson Footer, 10/25/07, MLB.com)

"Sweet Caroline" is far from the only musical tradition at Fenway Park. When the Red Sox win, Kaiser's crew plays three songs -- "Tessie" by the Dropkick Murphys, "Dirty Water" by The Standells and "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night.

Why "Dirty Water"?

"It's all about the Charles River and Boston," Kaiser said. "'Love that dirty water, Boston, you're my home.'"

The club's attachment to "Tessie" is a bit more complicated. It's become arguably the most famous of all of the Red Sox's good luck charms, especially as the season progresses toward the playoffs.

First, a little background information. The broadway tune "Tessie" was originally used as a rally song during the 1903 World Series. Boston was losing that year to the Pirates in the best-of-nine series, 3-1, and a group of self-proclaimed baseball fanatics called the Royal Rooters attempted to rally their team with every song that came to mind.

Ultimately, "Tessie" proved to be the most irritating to the Pirates, and with that knowledge, the Rooters stuck exclusively with that one tune. Boston went on to win Games 5, 6, 7 and 8 to win the series.

The Royal Rooters stopped singing in 1918, the last time the Red Sox won a World Series for the next 86 years. Fast forward to 2004. "Tessie" made a musical reappearance, and perhaps not so coincidentally, the Red Sox also won the World Series.

This time, the local band Dropkick Murphys remade the song, with the help of Red Sox players Johnny Damon, Bronson Arroyo and Lenny DiNardo, and Red Sox vice president of public affairs Charles Steinberg. Boston Herald sportswriter Jeff Horrigan co-wrote the new lyrics with the Murphys.

During the '04 season, the Murphys were invited to sing "Tessie" live at Fenway Park. Incredibly, the Red Sox are 5-0 with four final at-bat wins when the band appears.

Don't think the Red Sox brass isn't aware of the Dropkick Murphys' magic. With the Red Sox seeking their second American League pennant in three years this season, they invited the band to perform their famous song prior to Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Once the Red Sox secured the win, chaos ensued. Closer Jonathan Papelbon broke out in an Irish dance and gathered members of the Murphys, who were already on the field. Papelbon was dancing to the band's song, "I'm Shipping Up To Boston," a frantic Irish punk tune.

Being identified with Neil Diamond (other than the fitting last name) is humiliating, but the Murphys are great.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 25, 2007 9:38 PM

There's nothing wrong with Neil Diamond.

Posted by: Bartman at October 26, 2007 8:25 AM

There's nothing wrong with Neil Diamond . . .

. . . until he starts singing.

"Shipping Up to Boston" is the theme music for Lobster Wars.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 26, 2007 10:18 AM