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Take Me Out to the Ball Game

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is an early 20th century Tin Pan Alley song which became the unofficial anthem of baseball. The song is traditionally sung during the seventh-inning stretch of a baseball game. Between the top and bottom of the seventh inning, fans are invited to stand and stretch their legs, and sing along.

The words were written in 1908 by Jack Norworth[?] who spotted a sign that said "Ballgame Today at the Polo Grounds[?]" while riding a New York City subway train. Some baseball-related lyrics popped into his head, which were later set to some music by Albert Von Tilzer. Neither Norworth nor Von Tilzer had ever been to a baseball game at the time the song was written. The song was introduced in vaudeville acts, and became a popular hit of the era.

Among those particularly associated with the song is Chicago Cubs television announcer Harry Caray[?], who led the singing at games in Wrigley Field from 1981 through 1997.

The Verses to the song are no longer often heard, but the chorus continues to be very familiar to most people in the United States.

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Full Lyrics


Nelly Kelly loved baseball games,
Knew the players, knew all their names.
You could see her there ev'ry day,
Shout "Hurray" when they'd play.
Her boy-friend by the name of Joe
Said, "To Coney Isle, dear, let's go",
Then Nelly started to fret and pout,
And to him, I heard her shout:


Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out to the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
For it's root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's (shout) ONE, TWO, THREE strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.

Second Verse:

Nelly Kelly was baseball mad
Had the fever and had it bad
Just to root for the home town crew
Every sou Nelly blew
On the Saturday her young beaux
Called to see if she'd like to go
To see a show
But Miss Nell said "No,
I'll tell you what you can do:"

(repeat Chorus)

Third Verse:

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

(repeat Chorus)

Note: Sometimes "Cracker Jack" is pluralized, "never" is replaced with "ever", and "For" is replaced with "'Cause". The name "Katie Casey" is sometimes substituted for "Nelly Kelly".


  • "Why do people sing 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' when they're already there?"
    -- Larry Andersen, major league ballplayer

Hear the tune

(Click here to listen to the song) MIDI of chorus, twice

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