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“Where it began/ I can’t begin to know when…”
It only takes a few notes of Neil Diamond’s classic for any Boston Red Sox fan—or any baseball fan, for that matter—to instantly recognize "Sweet Caroline," the song that’s become the anthem for America’s pastime in Beantown.
While Harvard’s O’Donnell Field may not have exactly the same aura as Fenway, you can bet it still has the music. At the Crimson baseball team’s home opener this week, everything from a soulful Johnny Cash ballad to Sublime’s reggae-infused “Badfish” played through the speakers, keeping the crowd entertained during breaks between innings.
Even if Harvard’s variety of songs was a bit different from those commonly heard at baseball games across America, the tradition of music at sporting events traces back to the very beginning of competition.
In fact, historical documents reveal that the ancient Greeks viewed music as an important part of the Olympics.
The modern sports fan is most likely to recognize perennial hits like Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions,” the more traditional “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” or the Village People’s undying crowd sing-along “Y.M.C.A.” as staples in American sporting culture.
With many more games to come at O’Donnell Field, you can bet that the Crimson’s fans will hear at least one of the classics sometime soon. And with the Harvard band making at appearance at today’s softball doubleheader—playing personalized walk-up songs for every Crimson player—live entertainment could be on the horizon.
But "10,000 Men of Harvard" or not, our money’s on Survivor’s platinum single and karaoke favorite, “Eye of the Tiger," ringing across the river soon.
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