Stories behind Fenway walk-up songs

May, 19, 2014
May 19
9:00
PM ET
Red Sox Nation loves to sing along to Shane Victorino’s walk-up music, Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” but do you know why he picked that song? ESPNBoston.com asked Red Sox players about their walk-up and warm-up music.

Shane Victorino: “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. I’ve always been a big Bob Marley fan. Obviously growing up in Hawaii, Bob Marley plays a big role in our culture with the music. In Philly, I used to come out to “Buffalo Soldier.” Even there, that was a staple song for when I came up to the plate.

Last year, I started with “Buffalo Soldier” and then the day before the All-Star break, “Three Little Birds” is my ringtone for my dad. I was driving to the park and he called me and my phone rang. I was like, “This could be a pretty good entrance song.” I came to the field and asked KG [Red Sox director of media relations Kevin Gregg] if he’d mind switching my song up to “Three Little Birds.” By the third or fourth at-bat that day, I heard little parts of the stadium singing the song. I thought to myself, “Wow, this could really catch on.” Obviously it’s become a staple here in Boston now. Really, within a month of me playing it, the crowd got into singing it. It helps with the man upstairs in the booth stopping the song at just the right time for people to continue to sing the song.

Shane Victorino
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaIt didn't take long for Shane Victorino's song, "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, to become a Fenway hit.
Also, with what happened last year with the marathon, it has meaning in “Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing’s gonna be all right.” It’s one of those catchy phrases. We all try to live life and embrace a phrase and it’s such a great phrase to live your life to. It’s easier said than done with the magnitude of what happened last year with the Boston Marathon, but the song’s lyrics are meaningful and it’s such a catchy song.

This year they’ve shortened the at-bat music to 15 seconds, but it hasn’t effected anything at all. The person who controls the music upstairs knows where to cut it off so that the fans can continue to sing the chorus. The thing that I love about it is getting into the box and listening to catchers sing the rest of the song or telling me, “There is no way you’re ever changing this song. This is the song that’s going to stick with you forever.” Those kind of things make it fascinating to think that other players recognize the song and the fans singing it. I have not heard an umpire sing it yet but I’ve heard an umpire say to me, “Great entrance song. I love that song.” It’s becoming a staple of who I am and a song that will stick with me forever.

Will Middlebrooks: “Texas Flood” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s my dad’s favorite song.

Dustin Pedroia: I don’t know yet. There’s like eight different ones going on. I don’t even have a preference yet, which of the eight.

Jackie Bradley Jr.: “They Just Don’t Know” by Gyft. I just like the beat and the tune.

Mike Carp: “Heartache Tonight” by the Eagles. It just seemed like it would be a catchy song.

Jonny Gomes: “The Boys are Back” by the Dropkick Murphys. The Dropkicks, you know, are awesome. They’re obviously fricking huge out here. But I’ve known them for a long time, even before I played here. When I was picking a song, the title of it was pretty fitting for what we were trying to do last year.

A.J. Pierzynski: I have two of them. One of them is called “Bullets” by Creed and the other is an old 80s rap song by Kurtis Blow, it’s called “AJ Scratch.” The one says AJ in it. But it’s funny because when they play it here, they don’t play it the right way. So it doesn’t make any sense. They don’t play the part that says AJ in it. It’s kind of funny. “Bullets” because I know all those guys from Creed and it has good words. I know them because we all live in Orlando. It has good words too. If you actually listen to the words, which I know nobody ever does anymore, but if you listen to the words, it will kind of make sense.

David Ortiz: I have a whole bunch of different ones from Tupac, Rick Ross, Drake and Mystical. Their songs get me going up at the plate.”

David Ross: “It Takes Two” by Rob Bass and DJ E-Z Rock. I just like old school rap -- stuff that I used to listen to when I was young. Songs I used to go to the fair to -- just stuff that reminds me of young childhood fun times. That gets me going for a little energy boost.

Grady Sizemore: I haven’t picked mine yet.

Mike Napoli: “Trophies” by Drake. I like the beat. I like the beats in songs and I like the beat in that song.

Xander Bogaerts: “Beautiful” by Snoop Dogg featuring Pharrell. I just like the music. I’ve been using it since Double-A. But I’ll probably change it to “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX because a lot of fans ask me to do that one because of the letter X for my name. So I might change it.

Jon Lester: “I Use What I Got” by Jason Aldean. I like the song and I like Aldean. I know him but I picked the song before I met him.

Jake Peavy: Honestly, I listen to a little bit of everything. It just depends on the mood I’m in, I guess. I’m all over the map, but any kind of country music, preferably older country music that I was raised on like Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings. If I’m listening to country music, I’m probably not listening to stuff any newer than Garth Brooks. I also love classic rock to reggae music to Americana, really a little bit of everything. I like old school music for its simplicity and yet complexity all in the same. It’s very simply structured and put together that has a feel, I guess, that takes me back to my childhood and to good memories and people I love. So when I hear all that stuff I certainly think about my dad and my grandpa and good times back home.

Clay Buchholz: “Lunatic Fringe” by Red Rider. It’s a cool little song that the beat and sound of it goes with warming up out there with the time that we get to warm up, no other rhyme or reason to it.

John Lackey: “One Star Flag” by Casey Donahew. He’s a buddy of mine first of all, the guy that sings it, and it’s a song about my home state of Texas.

Felix Doubront: “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony. I went to his concert last year and that was the last song he sang. It’s from his new album. I liked it because I like salsa music.

Junichi Tazawa: (translated by Red Sox Japanese interpreter C.J. Matsumoto) The title can be translated to a song about a mole. A mole as in the animal. The song has very positive lyrics. When they told me that I had to choose a Japanese song, that one came to my mind because it had very positive lyrics. The official meaning of the song, in short, means that even in hard times you need to get up and work toward a better tomorrow and there will be better days. I have had that kind of experience when I went through surgery and I like that about the song.

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