Baseball, Knitting & Music

After posting “Purl vs. Pearl,” I started thinking about music and how music of the 20th and 21st centuries tends to reflect activities that are stereotypically in a “man’s realm” rather than those in a “woman’s realm.”  That got me pondering over what I think are two major pastimes in the U.S. – baseball and knitting – and comparing how they’ve been portrayed in music.

Baseball was easy.  Let’s see … there’s the obvious “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (Jack Norworth & Albert Von Tilzer, 1908).  Then there’s “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit the Ball” (Woodrow Buddy Johnson & Count Basie, 1948) and “Say Hey” – aka “The Willie Mays Song” (Cliff and Claude Treniers, 1955).  The following decade Peter, Paul & Mary recorded “Right Field.”  We can’t overlook Bruce Springsteen‘s “Glory Days” (1984) or John Fogerty‘s “Centerfield” (1985).  And, of course, for Pearl Jam fans, there’s “All the Way” (Eddie Vedder, 2007).

Now, how many knitting songs – outside of the World War II era “Knit One, Purl two” (by Frills & Lorre) that I mentioned earlier – are you familiar with?  I wasn’t familiar with any.  So I did a bit a digging as explained below.

But first, I’m bursting to tell you:  Did you know there’s a 2012 CD by Melanie Gall titled “Knitting All Day: Knitting Songs From World War I?”  I am going to download it right away!

Okay, back to my digging …

I first found a “Knitting Song” from World War I by Muriel Bruce and Baron Aliotti (1915).  But then I found a treasure trove of knitting-related songs from the early part of the 20th century.  Click here to visit Threadwinder’s list of (mostly) knitting songs with lyrics from World War I and from World War II  (And it was from the WWI knitting songs site I learned about Melanie Gall’s CD.)

There’s “The Knitting Song” written and recorded by Englishman Bill Oddie in 1965.  (In the 1970s Oddie became famous as one of “The Goodies,” a comedic trio.  He’s now an ornithologist and, interestingly enough, received an Order of the British Empire.)  In “The Knitting Song,” Oddie shares what he does when he’s down:

I’m gonna knit
Knit, knit all day.
I’m gonna knit
My blues all way.
Well if I’m feeling low,
I knit a row,
‘Cause a fellow needs his knitting just to ease his soul.

(Click here to listen to Oddie sing the whole song.)

It goes without saying I was thrilled to find a knitting-related song by the Muppets titled “The Muppet’s Doozer Song” from 1983.  I have attached the lyrics.

I found “Cable Knit Sweater” by The Lads (2008), a New Zealand Christian rock-pop group.  A young man sings that he was “knitted together like a cable knit sweater.”  Click here to listen to “Cable Knit Sweater.”

I found a fourth song – a pretty one titled “The Knitting Song,” by Sophie Madeleine (2009), a singer and ukulele player from Brighton.  Here are the lyrics to “The Knitting Song”.

 Now, if “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” has become the anthem for ballgames, which song shall we knitters adopt for our anthem – or do we need one?

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Knitting. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Baseball, Knitting & Music

  1. Hello knitters. Have you seen this video about a girl who knits gifts for her boyfriends, but is struck by the knitter’s curse? It’s really funny http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiUcx3ZHpUs&feature=plcp

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  2. I have that trouble when I knit, that not being sure whether I want to knit traditional or Continental style. Being a right-handed crocheter, controlling the thread from the left is more “natural” for me but seems like everyone teaches traditional knitting. Also being slightly dyslexic (actually cross-brain-preferenced) I have trouble remembering which is a knit and which is a purl. I believe some things are better accomplished in knitting and others in crochet, but I like doing crochet so much more. Each to his/her own techniques/art—-that’s what makes the world so rich in art and interesting!!!

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  3. Thank you for reading the blog! When I discovered it I immediately downloaded the CD to my iPhone … and of course blogged about it immediately. I hadn’t heard of it and so wanted to share with other “fiber folks.” Thank you, too, for putting a link on your sitee to the blog.

    A crocheter and beader, huh? I just crocheted a hat for my 4 year old granddaughter’s birthday … but I have to admit it was slow going for me! A friend of mine who’s a remarkable crocheter finally snatched the hat from my laboring fingers and quickly finished it up. I think she was tired of watching my laborious motions, or perhaps it was just listening to me moan and gripe. 🙂

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  4. Some how my earlier post did not get posted.

    Hi Karen, Thank you for your kind words about my webpages and Melanie’s CD. I will reciprocate, once I figure out the best place to put a link to your blog on my website. It was so much fun working with Melanie and finally getting to hear my sheet music come to life with Melanie’s beautiful voice!

    I really enjoyed your commentary and will have to think about the best knitting anthem. I barely knit, and am primarily a crocheter and a beader. Now I wish there were some contenders for crocheters’ and beaders’ anthems!

    Warm Regards, Karen C.K. Ballard

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  5. Oh, by the way, another interesting topic is knitting posters. My favorite is a WWII one picturing a hand holding knitting with knitting needles forming a “V” and a caption “Purl Harder”!

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  6. Did you know about the Gall album? I downloaded it last night and listened to the whole album before going to bed! (Fun!)

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  7. I did today! A list of GREAT films! Thanks for pointing out the knitting. 🙂

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  8. Curls & Q says:

    Love this post! Another chapter in your book! I have to admit that I LOVE Centerfield by John Fogarty. It is on my iPod’s Upbeat playlist. I listen to it almost every day! Start stomping around when it comes on! I voted for Oddie – I got for upbeat!

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  9. That was my favorite too!

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  10. Thanks for reading the blog. I hope you enjoy them. I listened to them last night and had great fun. I haven’t learned the words yet! Yup, knitting groups can now have sing-alongs! 🙂

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  11. pioneerlady says:

    Thanks for posting the information about knitting songs. I might just have to add them to my “crazy day” playlist.

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  12. Tracey says:

    Great post. I had no idea there were any songs with knitting in them. I’m partial to the little Doozers, but had to vote for the song by Sophie Madeleine.

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  13. I hope you’ll check out the Classic Knit-Pics section of my blog…classic films with knitting in them!

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