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Office of Governor Pat Quinn


Steve Goodman


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As Chicago Cubs fans joyously (if anxiously) await the first Wrigley Field home game of the 2007 National League Division Series, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will pay homage to a legendary musician – and legendary Cubs fan -- by declaring Friday, Oct. 5, 2007, to be Steve Goodman Day in Illinois.

Quinn will be joined by Goodman’s mother, Minnette Goodman; Goodman’s close friend, longtime WGN radio and television host, Roy Leonard; and Goodman’s biographer, Clay Eals, author of Steve Goodman: Facing the Music," at a 1:30 p.m. ceremony in the 15th floor Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago.

“Today, nearly a quarter century after Steve Goodman’s untimely death, his anthem `Go Cubs Go’ is played at Wrigley Field whenever the Cubs win at home,” Quinn said. “Saturday night, Cubs fans throughout our nation will be waiting to hear his voice resonating once more throughout the Friendly Confines, and they will pay homage to Steve Goodman’s talent and his undying faith in his home team by singing along.”

Goodman, born and raised in Chicago, was a singer-songwriter whose warm voice, engaging stage presence and masterful guitar playing made him an icon of the Chicago folk music scene of the 1970s. Best known for his enduring ballad, “City of New Orleans,” Goodman’s intelligent, insightful, and often wickedly funny lyrics spoke to the heart of Chicago.

Whether he was eulogizing the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, skewering illegal car-towing services or – in two of his most popular tunes – expressing the bittersweet emotions of the often heartbroken but ever hopeful lifelong Cubs fan, Steve Goodman and his music were, most profoundly, Chicago’s very own.

The Chicago Cubs commissioned Goodman to write “Go Cubs Go” in early 1984, as the opening theme for WGN’s game broadcasts. At that time, Goodman – who had been battling leukemia for some 15 years – was better known for his wry song, “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request.” But with the bouncy, upbeat “Go Cubs Go,” Goodman expressed the undying optimism of Chicago’s North Side fans. His optimism proved well-founded: That very season – perhaps inspired by Goodman’s lyric, “the Cubs are gonna win today,” – the Cubs clinched the NL East Championship and made their first post-season appearance since 1945.

Sadly, Goodman did not live to see post-season play in Wrigley Field. He died at age 36 on Sept. 20, 1984, four days before the Cubs clinched the Division title – and 17 days before the Cubs blew a two-game lead and lost the NL Pennant to the Padres.

This year, however, Cubs fans nationwide are looking forward to raising their voices in joyous renditions of “Go Cubs Go” as Chicago’s North Side team makes its way to the World Series Championship.

“It’s a privilege to declare Steve Goodman Day in Illinois, to honor this great Chicago musician and Cubs fan,” Quinn said. “I know that all baseball fans will join me in celebrating the life and extraordinary talent of Steve Goodman.”

“Go Cubs Go”

by Steve Goodman

Baseball season's underway
Well you better get ready for a brand new day.
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

They're singing ...
Go, Cubs, go Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

They got the power, they got the speed
To be the best in the National League
Well this is the year and the Cubs are real
So come on down to Wrigley Field

We're singing now ...

Go, Cubs, go Go, Cubs, go

Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Baseball time is here again
You can catch it all on WGN
So stamp your feet and clap your hands
Chicago Cubs got the greatest fans.

You're singing now ...

Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.

Go, Cubs, go Go, Cubs, go
Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.