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An Anthem for the 2016 Cubs: “The Goat Is On Fire”

Plenty of Cubs-related songs have popped up over the years. Some have been peppy and lovable, like Johnny Frigo’s “Hey Hey Holy Mackerel” (1969). Others, such as Eddie Vedder’s turgid “All the Way” (2008) are earnest clunkers. Then you’ve got the ones that can barely hide their contempt for us all, ranging from Steve Goodman’s simpering earworm, “Go, Cubs, Go” (1984), or Tom Latourette’s excruciating “Go Blame it on Steve Bartman” (2003). Goodman’s “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request” (1983) is probably the best of the bunch, though the cynical six-minute dirge about an imaginary funeral at Wrigley Field is not exactly a sing-along.

So what if a song could balance the cynicism and hope? Temper the shame with a little swagger? Because that’s what this promising 2016 Cubs team deserves. And so we present: “The Goat is On Fire,” a video by Jon Belonio for a song written and performed by Jeff Ruby. Let’s burn this mother down.

The Goat Is On Fire

Remember the fan who rushed the mound and went after Randy Myers?
This one’s for him, and Sammy too
And all the other liars

It’s for Durham back in ’84, that time he lost the grounder
Every time that Hundley swung
And missed like a nervous flounder

The cat in 69
The goat in 45
The shot in 32
And anyone who’s still alive

Every trainwreck disaster, every freakshow, every choke
This song’s for anyone who was the punchline of a joke

The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire

To every stiff behind the plate who never learned to catch
Ozzy warbling from the booth
The seventh inning stretch

Snow in April, swoon in June, rain delay to trap us
That ump who stole the perfect game
In ’72 from Pappas

Santo’s leg, Sutcliffe’s beard, Harry Caray’s liver
Mitch Williams threw that crazy pitch
That landed in the river

For Brock and Eck and Maddux and all the other studs we traded
“Throw it Back” and “Let’s Play Two”
With every Cardinal team we hated

The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The flames
The flames
Go higher and higher
The billy goat
Has gone to the fryer

Every curse and jinx and hex and plague and save that Rojas botched
Every boozy blowout afternoon we wish we’d never watched

For anyone who can’t used to seeing games at night
Mark Grace is in the dugout
Firing up a Camel Light

The Bleacher Bum with too much rum, the rooftop party boozers
The W flag that gathered dust
Through years and years of losers

The fan who blew off work and paid to watch some hopeless bums
The kid who stands on Waveland
For the homer that never comes

Elia’s mouth, Bartman’s hands, optimism in our glands
Ivy twisted round our hearts
And every time the anthem starts
We hope and wish and do believe
Then curse and roar and groan and grieve
Guess I’m preaching to the choir
But it’s time to set the goat on fire

The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The ghost
The ghost
The ghost of Mark Prior
The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The goat
The goat
The goat is on fire
The ghost
The ghost
The ghost of Mark Prior

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