“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is one of the most popular singalong songs ever. I’ve sung this many times with people who have Alzheimer’s, and I always see faces light up in joyful memory of younger days.
I remember the first time I sang this with a group of people at a memory care facility. There was a man there that day who sat through most of the songs without expression. But “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” seemed to bring him to life. Until that point, I didn’t think that man could speak (and I’d known him for more than a year), but after we sang this song, he started to tell me about his own days of playing baseball. What a treasured moment of joy.
Albert Von Tilzer wrote the music, and Jack Norworth wrote the lyrics. Norworth wrote the words to another singalong favorite, “Shine On, Harvest Moon.” When they published the song in 1908, neither man had seen a Major League Baseball game. Von Tilzer finally made it to a game in 1928. Norworth didn’t attend his first game until 1940.
When singing this song with a group of people, I use the traditional “root, root, root for the home team” lyric. But many baseball fans like to insert the name of their own favorite team. So, if you are singing this with a loved one who is a big fan of a particular team, check out our team-specific versions on Vimeo. I’ve used traditionally used names for the Bravos, Cubbies, Dbacks, Redlegs, and Twinkies. Please let me know if you’d like me to prepare a video with any other specific team names.
The song does have verses, but they are rarely sung. For our singalong version, we simply sing through the chorus twice, then repeat the last line one more time. Note: It’s quite common for people to sing “crackerjacks” instead of “crackerjack” and “ever” instead of “never.” Either way, this is a fun song to sing together.
Karaoke Version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
Our friends at Karaoke Version offer a fun arrangement of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” based on the 1948 rendition by the Andrews Sisters and Dan Dailey. This version includes a verse, though not the original 1908 lyric. Please note: Songs & Smiles is part of the Karaoke Version Affiliate Community, so we will receive a small commission if you purchase through the link below.
Various file formats are available. For karaoke videos, we suggest switching from the colorful animated background to the black background. The colorful version is fun, and the designs synch to the beat of the music, but we find the neutral black backgrounds to be less distracting and easier to follow, especially for your audience members who have Alzheimer’s.