Today’s post about the poem “Casey at the Bat” is the second in the series “Music and Poetry”, where you will find ways to combine Music and Poetry. Find all Music and Poetry posts here.
“Casey at the Bat”
“Casey at the Bat” is one of the most well-known American poems. It tells the story of Casey, a proud baseball star, who strikes out at the bottom of the ninth and causes his team to lose the game. The story is timeless, and many are surprised to learn that the poem was penned in 1888! It was published in a San Francisco newspaper. That same year a vaudeville star named DeWolf Hopper performed it for an audience of baseball players. It was met with such success that he ended up performing it over 10,000 times during his career.
What does “Casey at the Bat” have to do with music? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Two activities to do:
- Listen to this 1909 recording of DeWolf Hopper reciting “Casey at the Bat” and see footage of him here. How blessed we are to have a real recording of him! Listen to how he almost sings the words as he says them. Look up the poem here and read it aloud. See if you can make your recitation sound like a song as well.
- Get the CD or MP3 download of Maestro Classics Casey at the Bat. I love this recording! Here is what is included on it: The poem “Casey at the Bat” is recited by Yadu while being accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra playing music inspired by the poem. Also included are the background story of the poet and his famous poem (fascinating!), a lesson on how music can be written to express a story, how Stephen Simon wrote the music to accompany this poem, and more! One fun part of the recording is that your kids are given an opportunity to play along with part of the music. The melody line is taught to them, and they play it (on the instrument of their choice) along with some children Suzuki violinists. The whole CD (or MP3 download) is over 30 minutes long and includes a 24-page activity booklet.
Some music is added to this cartoon version by Walt Disney from 1946.
And here we have the great James Earl Jones reciting the poem.
Have some fun studying baseball with these links:
- Casey at the Bat History Curriculum Guide and Recording of the Story behind the Poem
- Baseball and Bat Chalk Art Tutorial
- Field Trips to Ballparks
- “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” free 35-page printable pack
- Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning that correlates with the Maestro Classics CD.
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)