Monday, July 6, 2015

A Phillies Polka? Why not?

This is already a string-band town. Why not a string-band theme song?

A Phillies Polka? Why not?


'Tis the season for baseball superstition, so let me say that I believe my blog post on Monday about a  singing-songwriting World Series umpire  brought good luck to the Phillies, who won Game Five that night, 8-6.

Ergo, there is a now a cause-and-effect connection between my blogging about World Series music-related things and the Phillies' success at the ballpark.

So allow me to make another musical connection.

Click here to listen to a polka called "The Fightin' Phils,"  written by the now-defunct Delaware County String Band. The strummers composed the ditty in 1950 when the Phillies last battled the Yankees for world domination.

Sadly, it did not bring the Phils any luck back then, as the Yankees clobbered our guys in four games.

But that was then, this is now, and my blog has proven that, in 2009, this blog has the power to determine game outcomes. This blog, and maybe my friend Kate's lucky socks.

Anyway, give the song your ear, but be patient. The band plays the entire thing, all the way through, before the singers jump in. When they're finished, the band plays the song all the way through - again. Then the whole thing repeats ...  and repeats ....and repeats...

So steel yourself.

And if you want to listen to "The Fightin Phils" in a public venue, head on down to the Polish American Center at 308 Walnut St., where "The Fightin' Phils" is playing on almost-continuous loop. The center's Michael Blichasz tells me that visitors go batty with joy when they hear it.  Love of string-band music is apparently very big among my Eastern European brethren. 

Wanna sing along?  Here are lyrics.

The Fight, Fight, Fight-in Phils! It’s a tough, tough, team to beat.
They’re out to win, win ev-’ry day. Every victory is sweet.
Watch ‘em hit that ball a mile; play a game that’s packed with thrills.
Get Pa to bring your Mother, Sister and your Brother
Come out to see the Fight-in’ Phils. The fight, fight, fight-’in Phils.

Daily News Columnist
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About this blog

When my phone rings here at the Daily News, nine times out of ten the caller begins the conversation with, “Yeah, so what happened was…”.

Because this is Philly, the caller doesn’t say, “My name is Bob” – or Mary – “and I wonder if I could have a moment of your time?” Philadelphians are too direct for that. They just say, “Yeah, so what happened was…”, and then tumble into a tale they think oughta be shared with a wider audience. I love getting these calls (even the ones where it becomes clear, after 30 seconds, where the caller sowed the seeds of his own misery), because they give me chance to connect with fellow citizens in a way that no other job allows. Well, okay, no other job for which I’m remotely qualified.

That’s why my blog is titled “So What Happened Was…”. To me, it’s the quintessentially Philly way of saying, “Once upon a time.” When I hear it, I know a good story is coming. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Ronnie Polaneczky has been an award-winning columnist for The Philadelphia Daily News since 1999, offering a front-steps perspective on every aspect of city life, from the sublime to the stupid. In her past life, she was the editor-in-chief of Atlantic City Magazine, associate editor at Philadelphia Magazine and a fulltime freelancer published in Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Reader's Digest, Men's Health, MarieClaire and others. She lives with her husband, daughter and various pets in the city's Fairmount section, where she dreams of one day singing The National Anthem at an Eagles game. In addition to her column and blog, you can enjoy Ronnie's musings in podcast form here.

Read more from Ronnie Polaneczky at Earth to Philly, the Daily News blog on anything and everything "Green Reach Ronnie at

Ronnie Polaneczky Daily News Columnist
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