I interviewed my informant, Vanessa, in the band office lounge. As I prompted her to share any folklore/folk traditions/folk beliefs she knew, she was reminded of the softball cheers she used when she was on her little league team (8-13 year olds). I collected an example from her:
“Down by the river (Down by the river),
Took a little walk (Took a little walk),
Met up with the other team (Met up with the other team),
Had a little talk (Had a little talk),
Pushed them in the river! (Pushed them in the river!),
Hung them up to dry (Hung them up to dry),
We will beat you! (We will beat you!),
Any old time! (Any old time!)
Any, any, any, any, any old time! (Any, any, any, any, any old time!)
My informant learned this cheer from the older girls on her team: “It’s been passed down for — I don’t know how many years!”
She told me this would normally be ‘performed’ by the team members the dugout. They would chant this when one of their team’s players were at bat. This is to distract the fielders of the opposite team. It’s a call and response, so one person says it, and everyone else echos the same thing (The part in parenthesis representing the response of the team members not leading the call).
I never did softball, but I have heard about softball cheers from many of my other girl friends. From my knowledge, they range from complex (which choreographed movements or dance) to simple call and response (like the example documented here). I believe learning the chants from the older girls brings the section together, and allows a “Big-Little” relationship between the players. It also unifies the team against the other in healthy, competitive spirit.