Tomorrow, July 13, marks the day when ESPN announces the winner of its Battle of the Bands. The finalists are Ozomatli, the Punch Brothers, and Gretchen Wilson, who each turned in an original rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Their videos can be seen here. Personally (can a blog be anything other than "personally"?), I think the statue has to go to the Punch Brothers, since the contest was to honor or commemorate or whatever the 100th anniversary of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," and not just because they root for the Cubs.
The original is a sly little waltz about a gender-bending woman who loves baseball, and will only go out with a "beau" if he takes her to a game. Of the three finalists, the Punch Brothers are the only ones who maintain the original 3/4 time signature, although it is fun to listen to how the others manipulate the song into 4/4.
Yes, I am a dork, and no, I don't have composition software on my computer to illustrate this point. But in the original, "three strikes you're out at the," is one word per beat, making two measures of 3/4. In 4/4, it's crammed into one measure of two quarter-note triplets that bracket "three strikes you're" and "out at the."
Harry Carey would be appalled, and then go back to announcing that a sure home run was caught by the shortstop.
UPDATE: Somehow, for reasons that would be completely incomprehensible if I bothered to figure out what they were, Gretchen Wilson won this contest.