Welcome to Phillies Youtube Treasure Trove, a new weekly feature where I'll dig up a random Phillies Youtube video and -- for better or worse -- share it with you. Have a suggestion for a future entry? Drop it in the comments!
This week's video: Phillies Fever
I want to apologize for bringing this into your life. But it needs to be done. Everyone must know the violence that was perpetrated on the ears of innocents. Because this song, or "song" is one of the worst things of all time. I am not being hyperbolic. If you made a list of the worst songs, or the worst sports ephemera, or even the worst of all things (non-violent category), this would have to be on it.
The song is titled (what else) "Phillies Fever" and the listed artists are Dave Cash, Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski, and Garry Maddox. Here's the front, courtesy of Papergreat:
And here's the back. Yes, this is the actual back of the album.
I don't even have any words for this.
It was released in 1976 during the disco craze and boy, is it ever obvious. It starts with a deep plucking bass line, and once an announcer guy actually lists all the singers, a horn section AND a string section kicks in. It's pure 70s.
The lyrics aren't exactly a work of art. It starts with the dudes singing "Phi-LLIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES FE-VER!" over and over, and it only gets marginally better from there. The next set of lyrics begins with something garbled about dancing. Several sites say that these are the lyrics for the next set of words:
when we go dancing, dancing in the street
well, through the phillies, we know we can't be beat
so come on, baby, won't you get on down
we'll just say it's the hippest place in town
At least half of that is just totally, completely wrong. It's definitely hard to make out what the guys are talk-singing on a Youtube video of an album that's now 40 years old, but some of those phrases don't even make sense. "Well, through the Phillies, we know we can't be beat" is practically magnetic poetry. They are five members of the Phillies, why would they say "well, through the Phillies, we know we can't be beat?" And what lyricist, even one that wrote this song, would be so wishy washy and put "well" in there?
This is what I think they say instead of that mess from NoneOfOurLyricsAreRightButYoureHereSoYouHaveNoIdea.com:
And we'll go dancing, dancing in the streets
'Cause we're the Phillies, you know we can't be beat
So come on, baby, won't you get on down
Veterans Stadium is the hippest place in town!
For someone who's never heard of Veterans Stadium, I guess I can understand how it would be hard to hear that in this song. But I have literally no idea how anyone could get "we'll just say it's" from "Veterans Stadium." I cannot believe I'm quibbling with the lyrics transcription of one of the worst songs in human history.
But quibble I will, because instead of more singing, next in the song we get CB RADIO DIALOGUE. SERIOUSLY. And I'm going to transcribe it, which is something the lyrics sites didn't even do.
Voice 1: Breaker 19, [unintelligible, possible "for some"] local info
Voice 2: Go ahead, local info.
Voice 1: Hey good buddy, can you tell me what the hottest thing in Philadelphia is?
Voice 2: It's got to be the Phillies [also unintelligible]
Voice 1: That's a big ten-four. Is that you Dave?
Voice 2: That's me, Gary. Ten-four.
Voice 1: Hey [or possibly say] Greg, you go out for batting practice? [It sounds like he says "you glob for batting practice?"]
Greg: Yeah, Dave, as soon as I finish these three cheeseburgers!
They do the "Phi-LLIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES FE-VER!" chorus again before jumping into a new stanza of lyrics, which thankfully contain only two new lines. I didn't even bother using WeSuckAtLyricsAndLoveToGiveYouMalware.com for this.
Let's get together and dance with all your friends
It's just a party, the music never ends
And then they pick up with "so come on, baby" again. I love how they're inviting themselves to dance with me and all my friends. But I'm not sure what party they're talking about, where it is, or how the music could never end. Considering all the coke and uppers that were around then, I'm guessing it just *felt* like the music never ended.
Did you think we were done with the little skits between the singing? We're not! Get ready for this one.
Garry: Hey, Schmidt, by the way, what time is it? [Great thing to ask someone in the middle of a song.]
Schmidt: It looks like about 8:00, Garry. [Schmidt sounds just as interested here as he does in his Sunday broadcasts.]
Garry: Geez, the game started an hour ago! [Ummmm...]
Voice 3: Well we better hurry up and finish this song, then. [YA THINK?]
Everybody: *general agreement*
Schmidt: Hey Garry, how do you like playing at the Vet? [Garry probably won't talk about the turf here.]
Garry: It's really nice, Mike. [Sure it is, Garry.]
Schmidt: Great. [Way to try, Mike.]
(The bracketed commentary is mine.) And then it dissolves into this one line, sung on repeat, until the song fades out.
We got the fever, with the Phillies, YEAH!
The 1976 Phillies had a reason to sing about Phillies Fever. They were at the start of several years of dominance and postseason appearances. In 1976 they won 101 games, and they did it again in 1977. And of course, they won the World Series in 1980.
Just a month ago, Dave Cash actually talked to MLB's Cut4 about recording the song.
I love that Greg Luzinski wanted no part of it, but there he is anyway. Apparently, the five of them actually performed the song on the Mike Wallace Show, and I would pay a lot of money to see that. I'm not kidding, I bet it's hilarious and embarrassing and seriously, if you somehow have this "performance" please contact me immediately.
I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad that the Philllies (or any team) don't do this kind of thing anymore. It's definitely embarrassing for the players, the team, and the concept of "music." But it's also fun and cute, and a sign that no one takes themselves too seriously.
What am I saying? I must have some kind of weird Stockholm Syndrome from listening to this song too many times in a row. This is horrible in every way, and nothing like this should ever be thought up or brought to fruition ever, ever again.