As Josh Benjamin said in this 2012 article: “All stats aside, hitters can score lots of brownie points with the fans through one medium: their walk-up song. Just by having a song that wakes up the crowd, hitters can energize the fans and suddenly give their team some momentum.”

As a musician and music-lover, I’d be very interested to hear why our favorite Reds chose the songs they did. Jamie Ramsey has a list of walk up songs here and there is a Spotify playlist if you care to seek it out.

Many of us picked a walk up song in the comments section of Michael Maffie’s recent post.

Here are my thoughts on the songs of most of our everyday players.

1) Billy Hamilton – “Blessings” by Big Sean with Drake (start at 1:40)

This song oozes confidence. It must provide a little charge when Billy is walking to the plate. At the 1:40 mark, the refrain goes “I’m way up, I feel blessed”. “I’m way up” sounds like what a surfer might say when his time comes to bat. And who wouldn’t feel blessed being an everyday player in the majors. The verse that comes in right after could be applied to the Reds after a disappointing 2014: “I ain’t gonna say that we back or nuthin’ cause that implies that we’re back from something”. Unfortunately, it’s looking like it might apply to them in 2016 too.

Billy Hamilton song #2 – “Watch Me” by Silento

“Now Watch me whip! Watch me Nee Nee! Oo Watch me watch me”. This is a dance number and quite appropriate for a speedster that is the center of a stadium’s attention. I don’t know about the “break my legs” line in the song though, that would be about the worst thing that could happen to Billy.

Billy Hamilton song #3 – “I Don’t Get Tired” by Kevin Gates

“I got 6 jobs I don’t get tired!” This song is kind of ironic for Hamilton after the 2nd half he had last year, but maybe it’s there to remind him and motivate him to play a complete season. It’s another party song with a laid-back dance groove. Billy seems to go for songs that can pump you up and relax you at the same time. Here’s hoping his bat wakes up.

My suggestion: “Lay it Down” by Al Green or “Born to Run” by the Boss.

Joey Votto – “The Blacker the Berry” by Kendrick Lamar

What happened to Paint it Black? I thought that song provided an iconic intro for JoeyMVP, even though lyrically it sounded more like something the Pirates might play when they were on their way to play the Reds at GABP.

Joey switched to another song with the word “black” in the title. “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice” goes the chorus. Joey must just like this song, or maybe it has some hidden significance to him.

Suggested song: If “Paint it Black” isn’t coming back, how about LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”. Don’t call it a comeback. He’s slowed down a bit in May, but he finally seems healthy.

Todd Frazier – “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra

Classic. And a Jersey tribute.

Suggested song: You can’t beat Sinatra. Maybe the theme song to the TV show “Frasier” would be funny every once in a while.

Devin Mesoraco – “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt

I wouldn’t have pegged Mes as a pop-country guy, but hey, if it feels like home. Highly-produced, slick-sounding pop-country is not my thing at all, so I’m not equipped to comment objectively on this song.

Devin Mesoraco song #2 – “Right Where I Need to Be” by Gary Allen

To me this one is worse than the first song. Come on Mes!

He’s from Punxsutawney, PA, so a song featured in Groundhog Day, such as “I Got You Babe”, “Pennsylvania Polka” or “ Weatherman” would be funny to me, but maybe not to him.

Suggested song: “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira. Too soon? I found a song by Vance Joy called “Mess is Mine” that’s kind of fun in a Lumineers or Mumford sort of way.

Jay Bruce – “Used To” by Drake

Drake is on this list several times and for good reason: his songs are often empowering. However, I wouldn’t choose this title for Jay right now. Used to… hit? Perform? It’s too easy to kick him right now. I love him, but he needs to figure it out pretty soon.

Suggested song: A Springsteen song could be good, people yell “Bruuuce” at him too. I see lots of appropriate titles in the Boss’ recent albums. “This Depression” or “High Hopes” when Jay’s slumping, “I’m on Fire” or “Wrecking Ball” when he’s not.

Marlon Byrd – “Work” by Gang Starr

This is a great walkup song. It’s really catchy. “I put in work and watch my status escalate”. Marlon’s status with Reds fans has certainly escalated in May.

Marlon Byrd song #2 – “Get Like Me” by David Banner

Another fun bass-heavy dance jam. “Stuntin’ is a habit, put it in the air”. “I’m ballin’ out the gym, got my old school pumpin’.” Marlon is certainly old… uh, school.

Suggested song: Maybe a song by the Byrds. They have a song called “Nothing Was Delivered” that would’ve worked in April. Charlie Parker (nickname: “Bird”) would be fun for any jazz fans that attend Reds games. I discovered a song by Mac Miller called “Bird Calls” that’s got a good beat for getting people hyped, but it’s pretty explicit.

Brandon Phillips song #1 – “Energy” by Drake

Why does BP get 5 songs? Actually I don’t care, he can have as many as he wants. He’s the flashiest Red, and the most accessible to the fans. But how do they choose which song to play at which time?

Another Drake song here, and another walk of empowerment. The line “I got b****es asking me about the code for the wifi” made me laugh out loud. “So they can talk about they timeline and show me pictures of they friends” is appropriate because BP has such a presence on social media. And this song is contentious, which we know BP can be.

Brandon Phillips song #2 – “Fire” by Ohio Players

A great groove and horns, this is a perfect party song. I think we get the idea of what BP’s going for. Especially compared to projections, our second baseman has pretty much been on fire at the plate this year.

Brandon Phillips song #3 – “Lifestyle” by Rich Gang

This has essentially the same effect as a Drake song. “Did a lot of s&^t just to live this here lifestyle”. “We ain’t got time to go see doctors”. BP has played hurt the last couple of seasons.

Brandon Phillips song #4 – “No Flex Zone” by Rae Sremmurd

Urban dictionary definition for a No Flex Zone: A territory where you are not allowed to boast or flaunt. Flexing is similar to someone showing off or “stuntin’”. Not in our house.

Brandon Phillips song #5 – “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea

Good party song I suppose, but it’s a little too transiently popular. It was funny when Jimmy Fallen used it in one of his lip-sync battles though.

Suggested song: he’s got enough. Though, he did call himself “Dr. Feelgood” the other day.

Zack Cozart – “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph

Ain’t nothing wrong with being a regular every day shortstop in the majors. Hitting would be even better. Just kidding, Zack’s offense has been quite the surprise this season and I hope he keeps it up. This song is energizing and fun, a decent choice.

Suggested Song: “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. They’ve got two Z’s in their name and so does he.

Brayan Pena #1 – “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias

I can’t say I’m an Enrique fan, but this song gets the job done. Nice groove and energy.

Brayan Pena #2 – “All I do is Win” by DJ Khaled (start at :02)

This song was obviously written to make licensing money at sporting events. Mission accomplished. If you haven’t seen Emma Stone lip sync to it on Jimmy Fallon, do yourself a favor.

Suggested Song: The Cuban hip-hop band Orishas has a song called “A lo cubano”, which roughly translates to “the Cuban way”.

Johnny Cueto – “Siguelo” by Wisin y Yandel (Pitching)

Wisin y Yandel are a Puerto Rican Reggaeton duo, I didn’t know them. This is a fun pop song in Spanish. The title translates to “keep on going” and the song samples a James Brown tune. Cueto keeps on going as one of the

Johnny Cueto – “Hello City Limits” by Breakin’ Strings

I couldn’t find this song on spotify. Is this it?

That would be pretty strange.

Suggested Song: “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is the obvious choice, but too hard to pass up.

Homer Bailey – “Fred Bear” by Ted Nugent

This song fits nicely with Homer’s image. It starts “there I was back in the wild again, and I felt right at home where I belong.” Nugent is a pretty all-American rocker and he’s a hunter like Bailey. On the other hand, this song is nearly 8 minutes long and well, it’s pretty dumb.

Suggested Song: “The Hunter” by Albert King. Or, if “I’ve got you in the sights of my love gun” isn’t a family-friendly refrain, Bjork has a song called “Hunter” that is probably a bit mellow for a baseball game, but it is ominous.

Mike Leake – “Intro” by XX (Pitching)

Though Leake is one of the team veterans I still think of him as one of the youngsters, probably because he didn’t go through the minors. This song shows his awareness of young hipster music, it’s the first track on British pop duo XX’s first album. “Intro” works because it creates the impression something important is coming.

Mike Leake song #2 – “Old Thing Back” by Matoma & Notorious B.I.G. (Hitting)

This is a happy, dance song that features some cheesy synth saxophone, and a lot of Notorious B.I.G. talking about the size of his anatomy. Hey, whatever makes you feel better when you’re a pitcher heading up to bat.Leake is one of the better hitting pitchers in the league, but he’s dropped off over the years. Maybe he wants to get his old batting average back.

Suggested song: “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. It’s kind of a stretch on the dam springing a leak metaphor, but it would also be a good beat and song to pump people up.

Anthony Desclafani

I haven’t seen a song for Disco. Staying Alive or Night Fever come to mind as obvious plays on his nickname.

Suggested song: “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps

Jason Marquis – “Run This Town” by Jay Z feat. Kanye West & Rihanna (Pitching)

How about “Run This (guy out of) Town”?

Instead of trying to run the town, Jason, maybe just make it through 5 innings relatively unscathed, that cool?

Suggested Song: “How Many More Times” by Zeppelin. I also found a song called “D.F.A.” by an artist called Remedy. No, I’m kidding, he’s a Red (for now), and I want him to succeed. There’s a band called Crocodiles with a song called Marquis de Sade that says “I think I’m in love with you Marquis de Sade.”

Aroldis Chapman – “Wake up” by Rage Against the Machine & “Jingo” by Santana

Chappy certainly wakes up the crowd when he enters a game, so the Rage song fits perfectly. It also seems to serve as a sort of answer to Mariano Rivera’s famous entrance song “Enter Sandman”. I’m not sure when “Jingo” is used.

Suggested Song – I probably wouldn’t change anything, but the Doors’ “The End” would be a great song for a closer’s entrance, especially a closer as dominant as ours. Though, that song could only be used in save situations or when the team is ahead.

Not-So-Random Thoughts:

-Chase Utley has used “Kashmir”, so maybe Sean Marshall should switch to Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

-Nyjer Morgan used to use Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” when he was on the Brewers. That’s a perfect walkup song if you ask me.

-Kevin Gregg picked a great reliever entrance song, but the only thing that’ll leave you thunderstruck is thinking about how he made a major league roster this year.

-I despise Skip Schumaker’s choice of songs. What about “War (What is it good for)”?

Finally, after further deliberation, I decided I would choose “I Put a Spell on You” as my walk up song–the Nina Simone version. It’s a good combination of funny (in the context of a batter trying to own a pitcher), fiery and classic.

What would yours be?

 

6 Responses

  1. Mr. Mojo

    Maybe it’s a little obvious, but I figured “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen would be a good choice for Marlon Byrd. B-B-B-Bird bird bird, bird is the word!

  2. Steve Mancuso

    I totally agree about Votto and Paint It Black. Maybe if he went back to that song he’d fix his slump.

    Also for Frazier: Sinatra’s The Best is Yet to Come

  3. Theresa L

    If Votto wants to go with a “black” theme for his walk up song, why not “Back in Black” by AC/DC? I have always thought “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen would be a great walk up song for Chapman.

    • Theresa L

      I also think “Slide” by the Goo Goo Dolls (based on the title, not the lyrics, of course) or “Centerfield” by John Fogerty would be fun walk up songs for BHam.

  4. Aaron Bradley

    I have friends and family in LA… I floated a Chapman-Cuteo_Schumaker trade to them and asked for prospects, they were receptive but the key piece is Chapman… Cueto has lost a lot of value since last year due to lack of control.