Friday, April 29, 2011

Goodbye Mr. Ball Goodbye!: A Tribute Song to Hank Greenberg

On April 27, 2011, Mark Kurlansky and Kevin Baker joined Tenement Talks to discuss the life and times of Hank Greenberg, an Jewish-American professional baseball player from the 1930s and 1940s.  Greenberg is best known for his refusal to play baseball on Yom Kippur in 1934.  Audience member, David Bellel from the Lower East Side History Project, brought a special treat for the audience, a song written by Bill Coryn and Harold Smith about Greenberg's ability as a power hitter.  Listen to the song here and follow along with the lyrics!

Goodbye Mr. Ball Goodbye
Written by Bill Coryn & Harold Smith
Performed by Groucho Marx, Bing Crosby & Hank Greenberg
Courtesy of the Philco Radio Show

We’ve heard about those old time dangerous pirates
of Captain Kidd and Silver John the Long
but we prefer those modern dangerous Pirates
as our victims walk the plank we sing this song

Oh, goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye

You are going to see an awful lot of sky
don’t hang around for Richard to open up that door
when Hankus Pankus hits you where you’ve never been hit before

Oh, goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye
You had better kiss your relatives good bye
when Hank comes to the plate, Ball,
you’re gonna to be out late so

Oh, goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye
Oh, goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye

Say hello there to the sun up in the sky
a plate is mighty handy to eat the lean and fat
but not when Hank the Greenberg serves it up with his big bat

Oh, goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye

Go fly ‘til the blue has met the dawn up in the sky
when Hank gets home run itch, Ball,
you’re going to drop a stitch
so goodbye Mr ball, goodbye

Oh nothing could be finer
than a partner like Ralph Kiner
in the outfield
and I am confirmin’ that I’ll work for Billy Herman
in the infield

Oh goodbye, Mr Ball, goodbye
you had better kiss your relatives goodbye

Wait a minute, when the count is 2-0 and I let that third one go,
what happens then?
You’re out

Oh Goodbye Mr Hank goodbye
And furthermore,
when I think I've got a hit and it winds up in Slaughter's mitt
How about that?

Too bad
Oh goodbye Mr. Hank Goodbye
Oh, Mr. Greenberg
Goodbye Mr. Hank Goodbye

Lyrics courtesy of

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