A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request

(talking blues)
By the shores of old Lake Michigan
Where the hawk wind blows so cold,
An old Cub fan lay dying
In his midnight hour that tolled
Round his bed, his friends had all gathered
They knew his time was short
And on his head they put a bright blue cap
From his all-time favorite sport
He told them, “It’s late and its getting dark in here,
And I know it’s time to go
But before I leave the line-up
Boys, there’s just one thing I’d like to know!”

(Chorus)
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around?
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground?
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League

(talking blues)
He told his friends, “You know the law of averages says
Anything will happen that can.”
(That’s what it says.)
“But the last time the Cubs won a National League pennant
Was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan.”

“The Cubs made me a criminal
Sent me down a wayward path
They stole my youth from me
(that’s the truth)
I’d forsake my teachers
To go sit in the bleachers
In flagrant truancy.”

“And then one thing led to another
and soon I’d discovered alcohol, gambling, dope,
football, hockey, lacrosse, tennis!
But what do you expect, when you raise up
a young boy’s hopes,
and then just crush ’em like so many paper beer cups?
Year after year after year
after year, after year, after year, after year, after year
‘Til those hopes are just so much popcorn
for the pigeons beneath the “L” tracks to eat?”

He said, “You know I’ll never see Wrigley Field, anymore
before my eternal rest,
So if you have your pencils and your score cards ready,
I’ll read you my last request.”
He said, “Give me a double header funeral in Wrigley Field
On some sunny weekend day (no lights)
Have the organ play the National Anthem
and then a little ‘Na, na, na, na, hey hey, hey, Goodbye’;
Make six bullpen pitchers carry my coffin
and six ground keepers clear my path,
Have the umpires bark me out at every base
In all their holy wrath
Its a beautiful day for a funeral,
Hey Ernie, let’s play two!
Somebody go get Jack Brickhouse to come back,
and conduct just one more interview
Have the Cubbies run right out into the middle of the field,
Have Keith Moreland drop a routine fly
Give everybody two bags of peanuts and a frosty malt
And I’ll be ready to die!”

“Build a big fire on home plate out of your Louisville Slugger baseball bats,
And toss my coffin in
Let my ashes blow in a beautiful snow
From the prevailing 30 mile an hour south west wind
When my last remains go flying over the left field wall
I’ll bid the bleacher bums adieu
And I will come to my final resting place, out on Waveland Avenue.”

The dying man’s friends told him to cut it out
They said stop it, that’s an awful shame
He whispered, “Don’t Cry,
we’ll meet by and by
near the Heavenly Hall of Fame.”
He said, “I’ve got season’s tickets to watch the Angels now,
So its just what I’m going to do.”
He said, “But you the living, you’re stuck here with the Cubs,
So it’s me that feels sorry for you!”

And he said, “Ahh play, play that lonesome losers tune,
That’s the one I like the best.”
And he closed his eyes, and slipped away;
What we got is the Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request.
And here it is:

(Chorus)
Do they still play the blues in Chicago
When baseball season rolls around?
When the snow melts away,
Do the Cubbies still play
In their ivy-covered burial ground?
When I was a boy they were my pride and joy
But now they only bring fatigue
To the home of the brave
The land of the free
And the doormat of the National League.

Steve Goodman, 1983
From the album “Affordable Art”

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