Thursday, September 23, 2010

Craig Finn Does It Again

This song kicks a whole bunch of ass. Craig Finn, leader of The Hold Steady and a Minneapolis native, recorded this song with something called The Baseball Project. I'm not sure what that is, but I know they rock. The song is entitled "Don't Call Them Twinkies," and sounds like an upbeat, rocking Hold Steady song. But the lyrics are the pure genius, and speak of a true Twins fan experience. (see the rough transcription at the bottom of this page)

You may remember The Hold Steady from their so-so Twins-themed cover of Take Me Out To The Ballgame. Craig Finn is a lifetime Twins fan - he even has a 20-game package to Target Field, although I haven't spotted him there yet.

This also could spell the demise of the nickname "Twinkies." There has been a small underground campaign against the term for quite some time, but I doubt if the general population knows about that backlash. This should create a whole legion of annoying fans, eager to correct someone when they say,"Twinkies."

Here's what Finn says about the song:

I wrote the lyrics quickly on tour about a year ago, and then over the next few months played with a few lines that bugged me over time. My intentions were twofold: I wanted to remind people of the proud history of my team, but also to try to capture the language that real sports fans have when boasting or arguing about their teams. I love living in NYC but I really don't like Yankee fans and the way their team outspends everyone and calls it part of baseball. I had to bring up the fact that the Twins win at baseball in a more admirable way than teams like the Yankees. I had to bring up the awfulness that was the Braves fans' Tomahawk Chop in the 1991 World Series. I had to bring up Ron Gant, and his infamous brush with Kent Hrbek at first base.
I recorded the vocals this summer at Wild Arctic Studio in Brooklyn with Dean Baltulonis, who knows just about nothing about baseball. I ended up having to explain all the references to him, and when he heard about the Ron Gant play, he suggested we do a harmony on that line, just to make it stick out. I liked that idea.
Since collaborating on the song with The Baseball Project I've gone to the new stadium a few times. Downtown Minneapolis is so alive, the bars are bustling, and the Twins are winning. It's a great summer, and hopefully this song is some way of giving back some of the joy that the Twins have given to me.

Anyway, here's a link to the streaming audio at The Current.

Please Don't Call Them Twinkies


In 1965, I wasn't quite alive yet
But I'm told they gave the MVP to Zoilo Versalles
Oliva hit the singles and Harmon hit the homers
Mudcat Grant won twenty games and we didn't play in a dome yet
The Dodgers came to Bloomington to play for the World Series
The Twins took the first two, you can even ask Vin Scully
but Sandy Koufax proved to be a bit too much to crack
and the Twins went down in seven but they vowed that they'd be back

From Nicollet to Hennepin, from St. Paul to St. Cloud
The Minnesota Twins are making Minnesotans proud
and we don't buy our titles, so there's summers where we stink
But these are grown men, these are heroes
So please don't call them 'twinkies'

In the fall of '87 I was pretty much in heaven
I got my license and a girlfriend, the Twins had won the pennant
I prayed more in the dome than I ever did in church
Kirby Puckett had the smile, Kent Hrbek has the smirk
First we tamed the Tigers then we were dealt the Cards
And they came to the Twin Cities tried to make sense of our park
It was loud and it was close, and it went to seven games
But the Twins took home the title and that Sweet Music played

Edina to Duluth, from the south side of downtown
Minnesota Twins are making Minnesotans proud
so hear us make some noise, c'mon wave those Homer Hankies
These are grown men, these are heroes
please don't call them 'twinkies'

in 1991 the Twins were once again on top
we faced Atlanta in the series, and they thought that they were hot
And I ain't seen somethin' so lame as that Fonda-hawk Chop
But we were up against the ropes when Kirby called his shot
And as he ran around the bases, smilin', pumpin fist
We all knew that he had won it, and it was only just game six
And the next night Jack Morris came and made his hometown proud
You should watch it in slow motion:
Ron Gant was clearly out.

From Mankato up to Brainerd, from Burnsville to Bemidji
Now we're playing outdoor baseball and that's the way it should be
Raise a toast to Kirby Puckett, raise another to Tom Kelly
They're the Minnesota Twins
So let's not call 'em 'twinkies'

We got Justin, we got Joe, that's enough reason to party
We don't buy our titles but we still won two World Series
So grab yourself a 3.2 beer and raise a toast to Gardy
They're the Minnesota Twins
So please don't call them 'twinkies'


Anonymous said...

I can't to own this song so I can put it with all my other Hold Steady songs.

I also cannot wait until FSN hears it and replaces that piece of shit GB Leighton song with this.

haasertime said...

Yeah. It's too bad that when people talk about this song, they invariably bring up GB Leighton. Get out of my life, GB.

And to anyone who, for some reason, hasn't listened to The Hold Steady: Go out and get their first album Almost Killed Me and play the first two tracks AS LOUD AS YOU CAN.

Anonymous said...

People might want to start with Boys And Girls In America before Almost Killed Me.

Dustin said...

I think it might be:

"and we don't buy our titles, so there is summers where we stink."

haasertime said...

Dustin, I think you've got it. That obviously makes much much more sense. Thanks. It's been changed.

MR said...

It's the "Fonda-hawk Chop." It's a play on Ted Turner's ownership of the Braves and his then-wife.

MR said...

(But, yeah- thanks for posting the lyrics! Great job transcribing!)

haasertime said...

Right on. I knew he said something about Jane Fonda because of her chopping ways, but couldn't put it all together. FIXED. Thanks for your input.

Anonymous said...

I think it's

"We don’t buy our titles, but we still won two World Series."

haasertime said...

right you are. thanks.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know when this will be available for download or purchase?

Anonymous said...

I've heard that it should be available on iTunes soon.

Sara said...

Anyone know if the tabs/chords are out there yet? I'm workin on it but could use a little help.