Friday, January 22, 2010

And I feel like William Tell

Co-creative credit to the homie Rich on this one, I have to say.

71. Squeeze - "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" (A&M Records, 1980)
The use of player-specific songs developed first among American sports in baseball, and in a rather unlikely manner. While baseball players (especially closing pitchers) were identified with individual songs long before those in football or basketball, the first fan-created parody chant was esoteric enough that it surprised this writer greatly not to have found an earlier example with more obvious lyrics and a more contemporary melody.

Indeed, the first example used as its melody a song which, at the time, was almost thirty years old and its lyrics do not mention the player by name. It began to be sung in the 2010 season by Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fans to celebrate the newly signed Hideki Matsui and used the melody of British band Squeeze's 1980 song "Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)" to reference Matsui's supposedly prodigious collection of pornographic videos.

Its lyrics were as follows:
Behind the curtain
his collection's complete
when he feels like interracial porn
he reaches high up on his tiptoed feet

Pulling pornos from the shelf
The song spread rapidly via the internet and, with it, what now seems like an essential part of American sporting culture began in earnest.

*Hawthurn, John, Live from Right Field: A History of Fan Songs in American Sports; (Seattle, Amazon Digital Texts, 2031) 5

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