A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“Why did the pirate send his hot dog back at Nathan’s?"/"Because it was a salty dog.” (9/20)
“Sex is like music: for every person who pays for it, there are thousands more getting it for free” (9/20)
“Why did the pirate ask to get a mortgage with 3.142 percent interest?"/"He wanted the pi-rate!” (9/20)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (9/20)
“What is a pirate’s favorite type of music?"/"Arr and B!” (9/20)
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Entry from July 17, 2015
“Up the river, down the lake; the pitcher’s got a bellyache”

There are many baseball chants that the crowd (or the opposing team’s players) yell to fluster a pitcher. “Down the river, by the lake, the pitcher’s got a bellyache” was cited in 1937. “2-4-6-8 pitcher’s got a bellyache” was cited in 1949.

“We want a pitcher, not a belly-itcher” is another baseball chant.


Google Books
The Cock’s Funeral
By Ben Field
New York, NY: International Publishers
1937
Pg. 1:
“Down the river, by the lake, the pitcher’s got a bellyache. Look out barrel head, flannel foot. Look out, Farmer John, your horsey’s out of the stable.”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
a August 1949, Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, “Wicket Woes” by Alan Gould Jr., pg. 10, col. 2:
“2-4-6-8 pitcher’s got a bellyache.”

9 June 1970, Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch, “At Random” by Jerry Lindquist, pg. B-7, col. 1:
“He was saying how childish players can be, and he said he recalled once in the minors...that I hollered ‘two, four, six, eight, pitcher’s got a bellyache’...and it’s all a lie,” said Cullen.

20 March 1973. Abilene (TX) Reporter-News, “Bench Jockey Essential” by Mark McDonald, pg. 2-C, col. 5:
About the time the hula-hoop was making the rounds, bench jockeys would work up a little ditty like:

“Up the river, down the lake; The pitcher’s got a bellyache.”

Those days are gone forever. That kinda stuff went out with crewcuts.

Google Books
A Special Kind of Courage:
Profiles of Young Americans

By Geraldo Rivera
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1976
Pg. 218:
“Two, four, six, eight. Pitcher’s got a bellyache!”

Google Books
Accessible Verses:
Humor in Poetry

By Ed Caffrey
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2011
Pg. 33:
From the boys’ side:

Up the river, down the lake,
pitcher’s got a bellyache.


Clearly, the muse of lyric poetry favored the girls’ side.

Kelley’s Korner
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2014
October 21 - “The Chant”
(...)
From the baseball field:
Up the river, down the lake,
The pitcher’s got a bellyache.
Got the shivers, got the shakes,
Pitcher’s belly’s full of snakes.
Thunder book, lightning flash,
Pitcher’s got an itchy rash.

I don’t think that one would be legal at a Little League game these days.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, July 17, 2015 • Permalink