'The Wreck Of The Chicago Cubs': With Apologies To Gordon Lightfoot

General view as fans sit in the rain at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

During Saturday night's game, played in perhaps the worst conditions an official game has ever been played at Wrigley Field, it occurred to me that the weather was better during last November's college football game at Wrigley between Northwestern and Illinois.

November. Hmmm. That brought to mind the classic song "Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald".

So with many apologies, first to all of you, and most of all to Gordon Lightfoot, follow me past the jump for "new" lyrics to that song, tracing the history of our favorite baseball team. Sing along if you want. (To yourself would probably be best.)

The legend lives on from Cap Anson on down
Of the baseball team we call the Cubs
The Cubs, it is said, don't win titles any more
Ere the skies of November turn gloomy
Long ago this old team used to win it all
In recent years, though, have come up empty.
Its good fans, all true, keep hoping for wins
But the gales of November come early.

The team was the pride of the National side
Once won four pennants in five years
As the great ballclubs go, they were better than most
With a crew and good captain well seasoned
In the days of Tinker, Evers and Chance
They beat a fully loaded Detroit squad
But in later years, with Wrigley their home
Could it be the north wind they've been feelin'?

The team in '45 made the last big-time sound
And then they broke down in the Series
But not a fan knew, nor the Wrigleys did too,
T'was the last of October for decades!
The Fifties were bad and the Sixties were too
Then Ernie, Ron, Billy came slashin'.
When '69 came it felt time for a win
Till they faced the hurricane Mets wind.

When the Seventies came, old Wrigley came out sayin'
Fellas, it's too rough to pay ya.
In 1981, the whole franchise caved in, he said
Fellas, the family's gonna sell ya!
The Tribune bought in and brought a new captain in
Ryno, Andre and crew suddenly soared high.
And then in '88 when the lights turned on bright
Came the first Wrigley Field night game.

Does anyone know where the decades go
When the games turn the minutes to hours?
The players all say they'd have made their goal
If they'd put those damned five outs behind 'em.
They had to split up and they had to retrain
Some years later ol' Lou came on board
And threw his cap and forgot all the names
And said "Look, what d'ya want me to do?"

Lake Michigan rolls rough, the wind blows in
Seemingly all season long.
Tom Ricketts brings in a young man's dreams
With Castro and Barney there's new hope.
And farther below the Cardinals
And Reds and Brewers give rivalry
As patiently we wait, for free agent Albert
Who'll give us some thrills to remember!

In a grand old ballpark in Chicago they play,
In Wrigley, a baseball cathedral.
The PA system rings out, each time there's a win
With a song by the late great Steve Goodman.
The legend lives on from Cap Anson on down
Of the baseball team we call the Cubs
Someday they'll win, and maybe it'll be
When the gales of November come early!
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