Rachel Levitin: A take on the discontinuation of “Take on Me”

With the Nationals out of town, this gives folks like me who don’t travel to cover the team a little break of sorts. For me, I find Nats road trips to be a time for reflection. That includes thinking about the team’s work on the field, but also other things like the discontinuation of A-ha’s “Take On Me” being played after the seventh-inning stretch.

Reports of this change in musical selections occurred over the weekend in May when the Mets were in town. Just over six weeks into the regular season, ex-Nats outfielder Michael Morse’s old at-bat song, which was ritualistically played after the seventh-inning stretch, was replaced by “Dancing in the Street” by Martha & the Vandellas.

On a personal note, I’ve never been too big a fan of “Take On Me.” It’s not really my kind of jam per se, but I see why the team clung on tightly to that tune. In their short time as an actual Major League Baseball team, the Nats have been the joke of their division and then division champions in less than a decade. It’s been quite a roller coaster ride. So why not cling onto the good memories of 2012 for as long as you can?

While I can’t confirm the team’s intent in using the song as long as they did, not even someone like me who doesn’t like “Take On Me” as a listener can deny that it’s a happy nostalgic memento of a very special season of baseball in D.C.

I think it was a smart move by the Nats to switch up the music, albeit not an easy change to make. Music is completely subjective and there’s no way to make everybody happy. On any given day in which the team’s in town, you’ve got families with young children, campers, couples, businessmen and women, and everyone in between attending the ballpark.

Not everyone’s going to like each song played over the loud speakers. That’s what makes the updated tracks at notable moments - like playing Fall Out Boy instead of AC/DC when the Nats lineup is announced or playing Martha & the Vandellas instead of A-ha after the stretch - a welcome change. Because, let’s be honest, hearing the same song over and over and over again can get a little stale no matter the track (even if, for the record, I’m a big proponent of bringing back “Thunderstruck.” But then again, I’m a sucker for nostalgia).

Rachel Levitin blogs about the Nationals for We Love DC. Follow her on Twitter: @RHLevitin. She will be sharing her observations about baseball in the nation’s capital as part of MASNsports.com’s season-long initiative of welcoming guest bloggers to our little corner of cyberspace. All opinions expressed are those of the guest bloggers, who are not employed by MASNsports.com but are just as passionate about their baseball as our roster of writers.

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