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A Hymn for Game Seven

November 3, 2016

Yesterday, after lunch, I  wrote a hymn text. Not something I usually do, and not something I did especially well. But people seemed to like it. When Bryant’s throw hit Rizzo’s mitt, I wrote a ninth verse, which is a lot, even for Lutherans.

We put the kids, our lovely little Cubs fans, to bed sometime around the fourth inning. Erika and I talked about waking Greta up to see the end but decided against it. School days and all that. Erika went outside to celebrate with our neighbors. I stayed in, watching the Cubs mob the field and listening to fireworks go off all around Chicago.

But I wasn’t the only one to hear the fireworks.

Greta heard them, too.

She wandered into our living room, bleary eyed, and discovered the promise fulfilled. And so there we sat, father and daughter, basking in the late-night glory, watching 108 years of futility drain away. It was a holy moment, for baseball is a holy thing. I don’t know that Greta knows what that moment meant to me, but someday she’ll understand.

I’m no Cubs fan, even though I was pulling for them. My heart bleeds Royals blue and it always will. But I love this city and these people. I love my daughter. And I love that she loves baseball. Eventually she had to go back to bed, her signed Ben Zobrist (MVP!) photo next to her on the nightstand.

And Erika and I stayed up a bit longer. Baseball, after all, is worth savoring. It is glory and heartbreak all mashed together, like life itself. For the ways it binds together fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, I give thanks.

So here’s the hymn in it’s entirety, my offering for my Greta and the city we now call home.


A Hymn for Game Seven

For Greta, and all the Cubs fans in my life


For all the Cubs who now from baseball rest,

And for their fans, who lived in deep unrest,

Finally now, we see a Series blest.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


For Sandberg, Santo, Tinker, Evers, Chance,

For Anson, Williams, in their batter’s stance,

For baseball itself, this most painful romance.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


For Mr. Cub, who would rather play two,

Yes, Ernie Banks, this one is for you,

And for all those who lived the darkness through.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


With Harry Caray, shout now, “Holy Cow!”

As light reflects upon our ivied walls,

Rizzo and Bryant mash glorious long balls.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


Gone is the black cat, banished now the goat,

Chapman and Jake have kept our ship afloat,

Now is the night, history is rewrote.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


We sing with those too young to know the pain,

Who don’t remember Bartman once our bane.

With voices as one, we lift our great refrain:

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


We sing for all those fans who came before,

Mothers and fathers, grandparents of yore,

Our North Side Nine are knocking on the door.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


Soon shall return to Addison and Clark,

Most holy light, banishing all dark,

Now, let’s play ball, and hit some out the park.

Sing, Go Cubs Go. Go-o-o Cubs Go!


Now Zobrist comes to banish all our fear,

No more shall we cry wait ‘til next year.

The Cubbies have won, we raise our festal cheer:

Sing, Go Cubs Go, Go-o-o Cubs Go!


Text: David R. Lyle, b. 1975

Tune: R. Vaughn Williams, 1872-1958

From → Odds and Ends

  1. wshoup permalink

    AWESOME!Congrats to the Cubbies

    Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy Tablet

  2. Edna permalink

    Love it!

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