Monday, May 3, 2010

Don't keg me in

As if Milwaukee Brewers home games aren’t fun enough with the Racing Sausages, fans also get to belt out “ Beer Barrel Polka” during the seventh-inning stretch.

It's more than a reminder that beer sales will soon be halted for the night. It also helps brace fans for Trevor Hoffman’s inevitable blown save in the ninth – that is, if the boys aren’t being shut out as they were three out of four games this past weekend in San Diego.

We mention the song today because it was on this day in 1939 that the Andrews Sisters recorded it for Decca Records. The raucous beer-swilling tune hardly seems a fit for LaVerne, Maxene and Patty, whose standards included “Ferryboat Serenade,” “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and “Don’t Fence Me In” (with Bing Crosby). But if Liberace could turn “Beer Barrel Polka” into a signature song, it’s anybody’s game.

(It’s worth noting the Andrews Sisters’ also dabbled in hard stuff by recording “Rum and Coca Cola,” another song we’d be happy to sing at games if only we knew the words.)

Unless our ears are failing us, the version played at Miller Park is by the legendary Frankie Yankovic, whom the Sanctuary credits for a lifelong appreciation of oom-pah-pah. If “Beer Barrel Polka,” “In Heaven There Is No Beer” and “Too Fat Polka” don’t comprise the finest Slovenian-style trifecta out there we’ll eat our souvenir beer cups. After downing the contents, of course.