Musician Katie Day Puts Her Cubs Fandom into Song with “By the Lakeside,” Gives Cubs Insider a Nod in Performance

‘Cause when the gods decide

It’s about damn time

We’re gonna pop champagne…by the lakeside

So goes the refrain from Katie Day’s “By the Lakeside,” a song inspired by her love of the Cubs. Her music has been described as “dreamy indie pop” and her debut solo EP, Burn it to the Ground (written, co-produced, and performed almost exclusively by Day), is “a story of dream maintenance, of a refusal to fold. The general vibe of Burn It is one of lightheartedness, an ethereal ode to the passion and ideals of youth, a laugh in the face of a harsh and unforgiving adult world.”

I hadn’t actually heard “By the Lakeside” prior to Tuesday, but I know Katie from the Twitterverse and I was intrigued when I saw this tweet from Paul Sullivan:

I wasn’t able to watch it live, which was disappointing, but all was made well when I saw this next tweet:

As you probably already saw from the image above, Katie is a fan of our Jake Arrieta Great Again hat, but there’s no way she would have busted it out for her live performance. Right? Now further intrigued, I headed to the interwebs to check for a video of the performance. There was Katie, alone on the stage but for a keyboard, the opening strains of her song at first drowned out by the WGN Morning News hosts.

It was evident right away that I could have swapped out the song’s title for that of her EP and the description above would still hold water. Equal parts wistful melancholy, passionate hope, and damn-it-all-I-want-to-celebrate, I was moved as much by the way she delivered her lyrics as by what the words themselves told me. Sullivan likened Katie to Regina Spektor and I think I picked up a Dolores O’Riordan in there too.

That’s not to say Day doesn’t have her own unique voice, anything but. It’s just that listening to her evoked a similar response to that I’ve experienced when hearing O’Riordan. I’m not sure the Cranberries lead singer ever rocked a Cubs jacket though. Even absent the wardrobe choices, it wouldn’t have been too hard to discern where Katie’s sporting allegiance fell. That somewhat incongruous emotional mixture I mentioned earlier? That’s what we are as Cubs fans.

I don’t think I’m being florid or hyperbolic in saying that it sounded as though Katie had tapped a vein in order to write this song with her very blood. And here she was on stage, bearing her soul into the mic as she expressed those same words. Whether it’s painting, writing, or music, someone who can find a way to translate themselves in that manner is a true artist in my eyes. I can’t sing a lick, but I can tell you I was able to harmonize — emotionally, at least — with “By the Lakeside” from the start. And I’m guessing there are enough others out there that we could form quite a chorus.

As her final refrain faded, a bit of a smirk was evident on Day’s face as she donned her “Great Again” cap and did the helmet-rub gesture that’s become a celebratory mainstay for the North Siders. I had been smiling happily throughout the performance, but now I had a grin that would shame the Cheshire Cat. It hadn’t been your traditional hype song, but it’s probably the most appropriate I’ve ever heard. Thank you, Katie.

If you’d like to see Katie Day perform live, she’ll be at the Tonic Room at 2247 N. Halsted, this Friday, 10/2, at 9pm CT. If you can’t make it but would like to know more about Katie and her music, you can check out katiedaymusic.com follow her on Twitter, @katiedaymusic. I linked to the live WGN video above, but here it is again if you missed it. And if you want the same soulful sentiment but with bit more pop and some serious Cubs hype, check out the version of the song below.

Maybe I’ve lost my mind, thinkin’ we could wear the crown

But I think it’s worth the fight, so don’t you give up on me now

 

‘Cause when the gods decide

It’s about damn time

We’re gonna pop champagne…by the lakeside

When the evening comes

And the stars align

We’re gonna pop champagne…by the lakeside

Maybe I’ve lost my mind, just thinkin’ we could tear it down

But I think it’s worth the fight, so don’t you give up on me now

I won’t lie, friends, I got a little choked up watching that video. I know we can let sports take too high a spot on our list of priorities from time to time, but this was a nice reminder that Cubs baseball is still a hell of a lot more than just a bunch of guys playing a child’s game with no greater meaning.

Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and lead writer for Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College. You can follow him on Twitter @DEvanAltman.

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