Over the weekend, Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder made available for download a live performance of a new song called "All The Way" that he debuted at a concert at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago in August. The song is about the Chicago Cubs, who on Saturday captured the National League Central Division title, and to whom Windy City native Vedder has pledged baseball allegiance to all his life--a lifetime in which neither he, nor anyone else under 100 years of age, has borne witness to a Chicago Cubs World Championship, seeing as how the Cubbies haven't won a World Series since (yes) 1908.
According to the notice on the group's home page, Vedder wrote the song "at the request of Ernie Banks," the Hall Of Fame infielder known far and wide as "Mr. Cub"--and who, at age 77, I guess will now also be known far and wide as the oldest Pearl Jam fan. In any event, it's a pretty good song, which you can hear here:
"We are not fair weather but foul weather fans/We're like brothers in arms in the streets and the stands," sings Vedder, echoing the underdog sentiment that has always been a part of a loyal Cub fan's life. And it follows in the inspirational footsteps of last year's Wrigley Field on-field musical hit, "Go Cubs Go," written and originally recorded by the late Steve Goodman, the singer-songwriter who passed away in 1984 and was known as much for his Cub devotion as for being the composer of the classic "City Of New Orleans."
Goodman also wrote one of the great baseball-themed songs ever--"A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request":
Of course, any discussion of baseball songs always comes back to the granddaddy of them all: Jack Norworth and Alfred Von Tilzer's Take Me Out to the Ball Game," which just happens to be celebrating its own 100th anniversary this year. Are the stars aligned for the Cubs to finally break through to baseball's promised land? Time will tell, of course, but until then, here's our all-time favorite version of the seventh-inning stretch classic, performed at (where else?) historic Wrigley Field by that well-known baseball fanatic, Ozzy Osbourne: