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Bird songs: an update

Although I have written about Oriole intro songs a couple of times before, the information in those articles and their follow-up comments is in need of an update.

A couple of visitors to the site have asked about the song that introduces Melvin Mora's at-bats. It begins with a catchy, in-your-face, up-tempo horn riff. The Camden Yards deejay usually cuts off the song before the vocals start, though, making identification difficult.

Not being an avid Latin music listener, I didn't know what the song was at first. But knowledgeable people have stated in various places that Mora's at-bat song is "La vida es un cárnaval" ("Life is a Carnival"), as performed by the legendary Cuban singer Celia Cruz, the "Queen of Salsa," who died in 2003. After hearing the song in its entirety, I'm fairly certain that their attestations are correct. "Cárnaval" is one of Cruz's signature songs and an outstanding example of the salsa music that Mora loves. The lyrics to the refrain:

Ay, no hay que llorar
que la vida es un cárnaval
y es más bello vivir cantando
Oh-oh-oh ay, no hay que llorar
que la vida es un cárnaval
y las penas se van cantando

A rough English translation:

Ay, no need to cry
for life is a carnival
and it's sweeter to live while singing
Oh-oh-oh ay, no need to cry
for life is a carnival
and singing relieves the sorrow

The rest of the lyrics are similarly upbeat.

Más bello vivir ganando (Sweeter to live while winning)

Mora's musical selection took a twist this season when the White Sox were in town for the July 30 Saturday afternoon game that was broadcast nationally on Fox. The Orioles held a lead going into the eighth inning, but A.J. Pierzynski hit a clutch three-run home run off Chris Ray to put Chicago on top.

Mora was due to lead off the bottom of the inning; however, a pitching change delayed the game for a couple of minutes before Mora's at-bat. As the new pitcher warmed up, the deejay started up "Cárnaval," but instead of playing just the first few seconds of the song, he played it all the way through. After taking a commercial break, Fox showed video of the White Sox' dugout, where jubilant players were dancing themselves silly to the song's irresistible beat. They were celebrating Pierzynski's big blow, which had capped another improbable comeback in an overachieving season.

Mora and the Orioles did not show any such elation, for the game, and their season, had taken a turn for the worse. Their troubles were not nearly over yet, as we now know. They lost that game, and since that day, the team has tumbled into fourth place, its manager canned, its starting first baseman disgraced, and its most tenured starting pitcher released. Occasions for the Miggy dance have been few and far between.

So the incessant optimism expressed in Mora's chosen song is what these Orioles sorely need. Let's pick it up from the second verse:

Todo aquel que piense que la vida siempre es cruel
tiene que saber que no es así
que tan sólo hay momentos malos, y todo pasa
Todo aquel que piense que esto nunca va a cambiar
tiene que saber que no es así
que al mal tiempo buena cara, y todo pasa

In Anglicized form:

All those who might think that life is always cruel
Have to know that isn't true
There are only woeful moments, and none will last
All those who might think that this will never change
Have to know that's not the case
To bad times put on a good face, and all will pass

"La vida es un cárnaval" appeared on Cruz's 1998 album Mi Vida Es Cantar (My Life Is To Sing) and on subsequent compilations such as the posthumously released Éxitos Eternos (Eternal Hits). (Note: clicking on the album titles connects to Amazon.com and earns this site a miniscule commission on ensuing purchases.)

Songs of the times

A recent thread at OriolesHangout.com's forum contains additional up-to-date information on Oriole songs. Thanks to the user FellsPointOsFan, here's a partial list of the 2005 Orioles' songs of introduction:

  • Brian Roberts: "Hypnotize" by Notorious B.I.G.
  • Melvin Mora: "La Vida Es Un Cárnaval" by Celia Cruz
  • Miguel Tejada: "Subido En El Palo" by La Banda Gorda
  • Javy López: "Headstrong" by Trapt
  • Sammy Sosa: "Gasolina" by Daddy Yankee
  • B.J. Surhoff: "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits
  • Jay Gibbons: "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World (sometimes "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits)
  • Eric Byrnes: "Bouncing Off the Walls Again" by Sugarcult
  • Luis Matos: "Grita Conmigo" by Charlie Cruz
  • B.J. Ryan: "Duality" by Slipknot
  • Rodrigo López: "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses

Also, another user wrote (and I confirm) that Chris Gómez's song is "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the grunge classic by Nirvana. I assume Gómez didn't choose it because of the lyrics, which are nonsensical to a comical degree.

Some comments on the above songs:

  • Rodrigo López's selection, "Sweet Child of Mine," has one of the most memorable opening guitar riffs in history; I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.
  • The heavy-metal intro to Slipknot's "Duality" that accompanies Ryan's entrances is all doom and gloom, not unlike Mariano Rivera's longtime choice, "Enter Sandman" by Metallica. I suppose we'll never see a relief ace walk in from the bullpen to the lilting sounds of a soprano aria by Mozart. But if a pitcher's stuff is as nasty as Ryan's or Rivera's, his choice of intro music probably doesn't matter anyway.
  • Although I'm not familiar with Byrnes's song, its title, "Bouncing Off the Walls Again," is highly apropos given his hard-charging outfield play.
  • Sosa's selection, "Gasolina," is also foreign to my ears. Apparently it was a big reggaeton hit containing the oft-repeated lyric "Dame más gasolina" ("Give me more gasoline")—quite apt in that Sosa has been running on empty for much of this season.
  • Tejada's choice, "Subido en el palo" ("Raised in the Wood"), appears to be a tribute to his humble Caribbean roots.
  • Likewise, Matos's "Grita conmigo" ("Shout With Me") is a musical shout-out to his home island of Puerto Rico.
  • "Money for Nothing" ain't bad, but if I were Gibbons and had to pick a Dire Straits song to rev up my engines, it would be "Walk of Life." Gibbons has never been great at drawing the base on balls, but this year he has walked in just 4.6% of his plate appearances, the lowest rate of his career.

I also recall that before Steve Reed was released, he began each of his outings to "Clocks" by Coldplay, which was appropriate because he got clocked quite a bit this season. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

I'm not familiar with some of the other selections, so if you have comments, corrections, or additions, then please submit a comment below. (To avoid exposing your e-mail address to the World Wide Wolves—i.e., spambots—enter any valid Web address in the URL input. When the comment is published, your name will then link to the URL you typed instead of to your e-mail address.)

Comments (8)


Do you know Jay Gibbons' latest intro music. I am an event staff enployee and i'm baffled as to knowing the song ( it just has a really cool guitar riff at the begining)?

thanks for any help


Can anyone recall what Tony Batista's intro music was? I personally loved it, but I've never known what it was. I really want to know, too.


Another resource for finding the names of Oriole intro songs is the Baltimore Orioles Message Board, which is hosted by MLB.com. Use that forum's search function to look up a given player's name with the word "song" and you might get some relevant posts in the results -- and probably many irrelevant ones too, such as girls swooning over their favorite players. It's not the greatest resource, but it's better than nothing.

Rob: users robertsgrl and gibbygrl31 posted that Gibbons, in addition to the two songs listed above, also used "Can't Stop" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You can stream a video of the whole song by going to the RHCPs' official site and navigating to the Multimedia section.

Some other (unverified) songs I found at the MLB forum to add to the above list :

Larry Bigbie: "Game Over (Flip)" by Lil' Flip (song ID courtesy of user esipp)

Jeff Fiorentino: "New Sensation" by INXS (song ID by barkatdamoon; this probably was chosen for him by the Oriole Park deejays)

David Newhan: "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent (song ID by eventer31)

Rafael Palmeiro: "In da Club" by 50 Cent (song ID by moosefeature)

Neal, I can't remember T-Bat's old intro song with the O's. Maybe someone else can. According to ESPN.com's 2004 feature, though, he used "Stand Up" by Ludacris while playing for the Expos last year.

Was it Brian Roberts who came out to Ice Ice Baby towards the end of the season? That cracked me up.


Possibly, but there are two elements of contention about this. One is whether the clip playing was from "Ice Ice Baby" or from the song it sampled, "Under Pressure" by David Bowie and Queen, as the same eight-note riff is featured in both songs.

The other disagreement is whether it was played exclusively for Roberts's at-bats or for any Oriole batter in a clutch situation.


Slight tangent: one thing (of many) the Camden Yards deejay plays that annoys me is the percussive sequence from the beginning of the '70s hit "Car Wash" by Rose Royce. It goes clap---clap---clap-clapclap-clap-clap. Or more diagrammatically, like this (asterisks indicate claps, hyphens indicate rests, and the second line counts off the beat):

1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

This rhythm is moderately difficult for one person to learn to clap along to. It is extremely difficult for thousands of people to clap to in unison. Usually what happens is a few people concentrate on clapping along while a handful of others halfheartedly follow, and the result is an arrhythmic, echoing muddle that dies out soon after the deejay stops playing the clip.

If the aim of playing this is to get the crowd to mimic its rhythm with their clapping, it fails to a large degree. If the idea is to get the crowd to make noise, it succeeds modestly. Mostly, though, it annoys me.

Back in the Memorial Stadium days, at key points in the game the crowd often would execute a much simpler rhythmic clap (one clap per beat) that would start slowly and then accelerate in both tempo and volume until the next pitch was thrown. And if nothing happened on that pitch, the whole exercise would repeat for the next pitch, and so on. As I recall, this clapping usually was initiated by a subset of the fans, not by a track played over the P.A. by the deejay.

Many others have commented on the plague of gratuitously injected stadium sounds at Camden Yards and other venues in recent years. Those are a few of my thoughts on the matter; maybe I'll expand on them at some other time.

Christopher Davis jr:

the players songs most i remember
Jay Gibbons Aint Talkin bout love - Van halen

Jorge Julio El Bueno,El Mal,El Feo ( in English The Good ,The ,Bad ,The ugly ) Vico C

Daniel Cabrera Bandolaras ( in english Outlaw By Don Omar featuring Tego Calderon )

Brian Roberts Came out to ludacris number one spot on opening day then ended with Hypnotize by the notorious B.I.G

His original song when he first came up was Shake it fast ( Shake your ass ) by Mystical

Christopher Davis jr:

Eric Bedard was Back In Black by AC/DC

when they had bases it was Ozzy Osbourne with Crazy Train


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 15, 2005 8:56 PM.

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