Friday, May 2, 2008

Van Lingle Mungo

So there's this great baseball song called "Van Lingle Mungo," written and performed by Dave Frishberg, that I've listened to and loved for years. If you don't know about it, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The story is that one day back in the late sixties, Frishberg, a songwriter, was flipping through the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia when he came upon the listing for Van Lingle Mungo, a journeyman pitcher from the 1930s. He immediately loved the melody of the name, and soon discovered many other mellifluous names in the Encyclopedia. So he wrote a lovely song using only the names of classic baseball players.

Read the lyrics here. That page quotes a story by Frishberg about what happened when he met the real Van Lingle Mungo on a talk show. Great stuff.

I bring it up because if you have small children, as I do, and you're a baseball fan, as I am, the song makes a GREAT bedtime lullaby. I've been singing it to my kids for years, and my daughter, who's 4, loves it. She knows a lot of the words, and now when we sing it, it's more of a duet. Her favorite player is Pinky May.

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