Top Five (Six) Songs about the Baltimore Orioles

There are not many songs that have been written specifically about the Baltimore Orioles.  When you think about it, there really are not that many songs written specially about baseball.  There have even been fewer quality songs written about the O’s.  Nonetheless, in our never-ending pursuit to bring you all things Orioles, here are the Orioles Observer Top 5 Baltimore Orioles songs of all time.  Click on the song titles for a listen (when available).

#5 (TIE) – Oriole Park – Terry Cashman/The Earl of Baltimore – Terry Cashman

Terry Cashman is referred to as the “Balladeer of Baseball” for good reason.  The former Minor League ball player and lifelong musician has recorded close to 100 songs about baseball.  The most famous of those songs – Talkin’ Baseball – was recorded in 1981 and inspired Cashman to pen team-specific remakes of the song for all current Major League franchises.  He also wrote many other baseball songs, several of which are about the Orioles including the two here – Oriole Park and The Earl of Baltimore.

In the interest of full disclosure – and with no offense meant to Mr. Cashman – neither of these songs are very good.  Oriole Park is a ballad style number (like most of Cashman’s baseball songs) that serves as an ode to OPACY and the throwback ball park era it ushered in.  I couldn’t find the lyrics anywhere on the internet so I transcribed them for right here (no need to thank me).  As you can see, they are not that great to put it nicely.  One really has to listen to the song, however, to get a true appreciation for its campiness.  The guitar riff after “they play baseball here” in the second refrain has to be heard to be believed.

The Earl of Baltimore is a tribute to Earl Weaver of course.  I am not going to bother transcribing the lyrics to this song also.  Just know that the hook goes:

Then there is Earl Weaver, the Earl of Baltimore/Baltimore!  Baltimore!/They call Earl Weaver the Earl of Baltimore

Again, we are not talking about groundbreaking stuff here.  Still, there are only so many songs dedicated entirely to the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Oriole-related topics so Terry Cashman’s contributions show up here.  It would not be a baseball song list without the Balladeer of Baseball.

(Note: Cashman also recorded a “Talkin’ Baseball” rendition focusing on the Orioles as well as one focusing on Cal Ripken, Jr.’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I plan on writing something on “Talkin’ Baseball” at some point so I purposely left those two songs off of this particular list.)

#4 – Boo Teixeira – The Boog Powells

There are unwritten rules to being a fan of a team that everyone just sort of knows and understands.  One such rule is as follows – when a local player signs with your team’s hated rival, that player is forever shunned from his hometown (unless he does end up playing there eventually, in which case all is forgiven).  The rest of the details around his perceived betrayal simply do not matter.  If he doesn’t sign with his hometown team, he is a traitor.  End of story.  Mark Teixeira found himself in the crosshairs of this unwritten rule of sports fandom at the start of the 2009 season.  The Severna Park native turned down the chance to take home the largest contract in Oriole history (by a large margin) for the opportunity to win a World Series title with the New York Yankees.

A trio of Orioles fans calling themselves The Boog Powells took to the internet to register their disdain.  They posted a video of their song Boo Teixeira – a simple, acoustic little number – with lyrics centering around . . . well . . . around how they were going to boo Teixeira.  The Orioles happened to open the 2009 regular season at home against the Yankees so the Boog Powells helped spread the message that every good, loyal Baltimore sports’ fan should show up to that game and jeer Teixeira until their throats were sore.  I don’t know how much the Boog Powells actually had to do with it, but their rallying cry worked.  To this day, Tex still gets more than the usual share of boos whenever the Yankees are in Baltimore.

#3 – How ‘Bout Dem O’s – Warning Track Power

Warning Track Power – a group of local Baltimore musicians specifically formed to write and record songs about the Orioles – had a good plan ad an ambitious one at that.  The plan was – starting in 2009 – to record a song about the Orioles that could be updated each year to reflect the players on that season’s roster.  The timing seemed good – the team had phased out Orioles Magic as the song the players took the field to the year before and a parody video of that song put together by the players on the 2008 team seemed to send that particular song out to pasture once and for all.  The time seemed right for a new Orioles anthem.

How ‘Bout Dem O’s is a good song.  The musicianship is top notch for a fan-produced song and the lyrics – which basically consist of putting player names in different patterns to form rhymes – are clever and   catchy.  The song got some play early on in the 2009 season at the stadium before coming to an abrupt stop for some reason.  The 2010 version – which I personally tend to prefer – got zero play inside the stadium.  One would assume that the player-specific lyrics were the main reason the song never became an OPACY staple.  With rosters constantly shifting throughout the course of a season, the song could become outdated in a hurry.  After just two versions – one for 2009 and one for 2010 – Warning Track Power stopped updating the song lyrics and thus it has slipped into history.

#2 – Oh Oh Orioles – Warning Track Power

Warning Track power did not throw in the towel on their Orioles-song aspirations after moving on from the How ‘Bout Dem O’s concept.  The band made one last attempt at writing an Orioles anthem with their 2011 song, Oh Oh Orioles.  Gone was the rhyming player names and annual update process.  In its place was a tight 2 minutes and 45 seconds of upbeat and non-specific Orioles goodness.  The song is very good – like How ‘Bout Dem O’s, it is far more polished than one might expect from a thrown together fan project – and the chorus (basically the title repeated several times) is very catchy.  For some reason, this Warning Track Power song also failed to gain traction within the walls of OPACY.  I am not sure I heard it played there a single time.  Still, I would rank Oh Oh Orioles just behind Orioles Magic in terms of best O’s anthems.

#1 – Orioles Magic

The lyrics might be campy and the music style outdated, but none of that matters when Orioles Magic blares over the public address system following an Orioles’ walk-off win.  I defy you to be in the stands for one of those games and not feel the irresistible urge to jubilantly shout along with the “O-R-I-O-L-E-S” portion of the refrain.  The song has an emotional connection with all Orioles fans of all ages and for that reason, will likely always maintain its rightful spot as the Orioles theme song.

The song celebrates the team concept of the Orioles of the 1970’s and early 1980’s who always seemed to find a way to win no matter how unlikely.  The term “Orioles Magic” is believed to have come into prominence following a Doug Decines’ 9th hitting homerun that capped off a 6-5 comeback victory for the Orioles on June 22, 1979 after the team had trailed by two runs with one out in the 9th inning.  The song – a commercial jingle at first – followed which captured the always-find-a-way-to-win spirit of those Baltimore teams.  For many years, the Orioles took to the field in the first inning of home games accompanied by the song.  That practice was ended during the 2008 season when the current Orioles decided that the song was outdated.  Now, Orioles Magic is usually only heard in the stadium following an Orioles comeback win.  It is an appropriate use of the song and a great way to keep it alive for future generations of Orioles’ fans to enjoy.