And, while I agree with much of what he says from a philosophical basis, I found myself getting a bit annoyed by WBAL’s Derek Hunter and his playful critique of the Baltimore Orioles’s longtime theme song, Orioles Magic.
Hunter began his segment by asking if listeners had “heard of” the song, a staple of the Orioles 1979 and 1983 periods of glory.
Yes, Derek, we know it well.
He portrayed the song as a gaudy mix of 1970s polyester kitsch and a Ken Burns PBS documentary soundtrack, and then argued that it needed to be updated significantly.
Now, I get that Hunter was being deliberately provocative, and I respect that. I also know that he’s from Detroit and that – not having grown up in Baltimore – he wasn’t exposed to the song and its attendant fond memories the way home grown Orioles fans like me were.
And yes, I agree that the song is a little hokey. But Hunter is missing a valuable point: Most sports team theme songs are.
Have you heard “Hail to the Redskins” lately? The old Colts fight song is a strictly retro production, too. How about all those the times when Harry Carey used to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame?”
Their kitsch is their charm.
The anachronistic nature of Orioles Magic helps some of us connect with past team traditions, glories, and memories. It serves the same cultural purpose as the statues which now dot the sports complex.
Perhaps a more modern song will emerge as the anthem of the moment, like “Who Let the Dogs Out” did for the Ravens in 2000. I hope that happens.
But there will always been room for Orioles Magic and, for that matter, Thank God I’m a Country Boy in the Orioles’ musical universe.
Could the song lyrics be updated to reflect the team’s 2014 roster and players? Sure. But let’s not change it too much. Let’s celebrate the present, but we can do that and leave our past alone.