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Tessie by Dropkick Murphys

Album: The Warrior's CodeReleased: 2005
  • "Tessie" is a song from the Vaudeville era that became an anthem for the Boston Red Sox baseball team when the Dropkick Murphys recorded it. How did this happen? In our interview with Matt Kelly of the Dropkick Murphys, he explained: "The Red Sox pitched it to us. Dr. Charles Steinberg, who was involved with the Red Sox organization, was also a bit of a baseball historian. And I guess he had been talking with Jeff Horrigan, the sports writer, about how the song 'Tessie' was the unofficial anthem of the Royal Rooters, who were basically turn of the 20th Century Red Sox supporters. They were a supporters club, kind of like hooligans, if you want to put it in a soccer sense. They follow the team around and they even have a band in the stands and taunt the players on the other team. And they'd sing 'Tessie,' which was a Vaudeville hit at the time. It was a song about a woman singing to a parrot. Nothing to do with baseball. So they presented it to us: 'We'd like you to re-do this.' I'm not sure why they picked us, but thank God. We listened and thought, What are we gonna do with this pile of crap tune? If you could only have heard it - it just seemed unusable. So we deconstructed the whole tune, looking at the chord structure, and pieced it back together as maybe a Faces or Rolling Stones kind of live song, obviously with less talent. And then Jeff Horrigan and Ken (Casey), our bass player and fearless leader, got together and re-wrote the lyrics to have to do with the Sox and the Royal Rooters themselves. We recorded it, and it just took off. That was in the 2004 season, which was a very lucky thing for us, because that was, of course, the year that broke the curse. When 'Tessie' stopped being sung in 1918, that was the last year that the Sox had won the World Series, and it came back in 2004.

    It was hard work on the team's part, and luck of being in the right place at the right time for us. I would imagine if they'd blown it, that song would be forever known as an awful reminder of those sad times. (laughing) We were extremely lucky. It was awesome, too. We actually played the song in Fenway Park on the hallowed field - you're not even supposed to look at the grass, let alone be on it.

    We were in the stands on the July 24, 2004 game where there was a bench-clearing brawl and A-Rod got a little slappy. We got to see these intense games first hand, and it was just ridiculous being able to be involved in that season. It's something to tell your grandkids about, because people waited so long, through so many blown victories, so many near misses. But so many decades and that finally happened. And wow, we were somehow involved. Responsible? No. But involved? Yes."
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Comments: 15

This is one of the few Murphys songs that I HATE. I f--king hate the red sox. And no, I'm not a yankees fan; I'm a White Sox fan. This song and I'm Shipping Up to Boston (Which is massively overrated) are the only two Murphys songs I hate.Dee - Northfield, Il
To fix all the incorrect origins of the name, zack from san diego nailed it, mostly. They did sing it against the pirates randomly, but of all random show tunes, that one, because Honus Wagner, the famous shorstop of pittsburg, had quoted that the song "annoyed him ... Drove him nuts ... and he hated it," so the drunken Royal Rooters would sing it to get on his nerves.Ryan - Somewhere In, Nj
Just to let you guys know Dropkick recorded this song before the sox won the 2004 world series but the video was made after they won. just so yall knowAndrew - Methuen, Ma
the guys yelling 2 3 4 are johnny damon, david ortiz, and if im not mistaken manny ramierez (not ot sure on manny)Sean - Milford, Pa
royal rooters were a group of fans born at the "Third Base Saloon" and started by a man named Michael McGreevey. McGreevey was the owner of the bar and whenever things got a little out of hand, he would slam his fists on the bar counter and yell "Nuff Ced!" and everyone would quite down. McGreevey's group of royal rooters would attend every Boston Pilgrims game. The Boston baseball team was a part of the national league and did not become known as the Red Sox untilthe 1908 season. Owner at the time, John Taylor, implemented the name.

Next, we have Stahl, Dineen and Young. Simple. Chick Stahl, Bill Dineen and Cy Young were the top pitchers in the Boston rotation during their first World Series Championship in 1903. Tessie was sung at their home games, thus the comment about them being serenaded.

The line "third base to huntington" refers to the saloon owned by McGreevey and the old stadium. At the time of the Royal Rooters, the Pilgrims played at what was known as Huntington Avenue Grounds. The Royal Rooters would show up, be drunk, loud, routy and do what they want. They would fight other teams fans and storm the field when they were unhappy with a call. A little unorthodox, but effective.

Lastly, Tessie. To answer B's question, Tessie refers to a character in a Broadway play in the early 20th century titled "The Silver Slipper." Tessie was merely a character whom another man in the play was in love with and couldnt live without, thus serenading her with the tune. The Dropkick Murphys have changed and altered many of the surrounding lyrics but have chosen to keep the 'Tessie' part of the song from which it derived its roots. Also, when the Royal Rooters would go to the Pilgrims games, the would sing random songs. When the Pilgrims won their first World Series in 1903, the Rooters had been singing the song 'Tessie'during most of the series against Pittsburgh. The Pilgrims won and 'Tessie' was adopted as the unofficial anthem.
Zack - San Diego, Ca
It is a great song. Dating myself. But the characters in this song were included in a Sports Illustrated article about baseball's famous "Casey at the Bat" way back in 1988. Specifically Nuf Ced McGreevy and the Thrid Base Bar where the legendary's "Casey's" niece worked as a waitress. Fictional story but a great one with a tie to "Tessie"Rich - La, Ca
ok so here is the story: between Oct. and March of 1902-03 there was a play on broadway called "the Silver Slipper" and Tessie was the song about her Parakeete, Totally unrelated to baseball. Then a guy named Michael McGreevey, an owner of a bar called 3rd base in boston started this lyal group of fans who started singing "Tessie" at gamesJohn - Gaithersburg, Md
Tessie was song from a broadway play around the turn of the century, Tessie was the main charactor. If you look on Wicapedia it explains the story.John - Gaithersburg, Md
"Tessie" is the main song form a popular musical of the time. The Royal Rooters were trying to heckle the other theam by singing random songs as loudly as they possibly could. When they sang "Tessie", the Sox (or whatever they were called at the time) starteddoing well, so it became their unofficial anthem. Thus the opening line, "Tessie is the Royal Rooters rally cry, Tessie is the tune they always sung"Josh - Avon, Ny
yes but what does tessie refer to?? great song thoughB - Brisbane, Australia
the song included Johnny Damon and Bronson Arroyo in the RecordingGary - Rensselaer, Ny
Correction: this song was recorded during the 2004 season, before the Red Sox won the World Series.Matt - Uxbridge, Ma
A GREAT SONG!!!!! i am more of a blue jays fan then a red sox fan but either way i love dropkick murphys and i think there one of the best hardcore punk bands of today and their new albm warrior's code is awesome even better then blackout well anyway i love dropkick murphys and i wish they would be more popular because their a great band and i'd love to see a music video or go to one of their concertsJoe - Chicago, Ar
The Royal Rooters were the self given name of the Red Sox boosters club around the turn of the 20th century (The team may have still been called the Red Stockings or Pilrims at that time).

The tune came form an old Broadway tune by the same name
Jay - Glen Burnie, Md
This song is on MVP baseball 2005 and I love it!!Rick - Humboldt, Ia