Havertown's Christopher Laffey pens a Phillies anthem

Havertown songsmith Christopher Laffey, singing phanatically. Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer
Havertown songsmith Christopher Laffey, singing phanatically. Steven M. Falk / Staff Photographer
Posted: June 06, 2012

Christopher Laffey, 36, a country-music songwriter from Havertown, was driving down the shore during the summer of 2010, listening to the Phillies game on the car radio, when the phrase hit him: "Love Our Fightin’ Phillies!" Then the tune hit him. And then he hit the beach, broke out his old-school notebook, and started humming and writing and going with the flow.

"At first, I wanted to put Charlie Manuel in," he told SportsWeek in his native Irish brogue, "but then I thought, ‘No! Go with Phillies history so fans can play the song 20 years from now and it will still be timeless.’ So I kept thinking, ‘Harry Kalas, Tug McGraw, Phillie Phanatic,’ and then, wow! It just hit me! I had my chorus right there!"

Laffey sang his song for some Nashville pals, including big-time singer/producer Kimo Forrest, who got it recorded by his group, Cash Creek. It’s available on iTunes (and you can check it out on YouTube by clicking here). The "Hey! Hey! Hey!" chorus — including the lyric "Harry Kalas screaming, ‘That ball’s OUTTA here!’?" — is the hook that Laffey hopes will persuade the Phillies to play his song at Citizens Bank Park.

This spring, Laffey’s song made its way to Ellen and Kerwin Leh, a guide and a bus driver, respectively, for Perkiomen Tours in Montgomery County, who take Phillies fans on 10-day trips to spring training. On March 12, a few minutes before they pulled into Bradenton, Fla., for a Phillies-Pirates game, Ellen — a lifelong fan who went to the 1980 and 2008 World Series — played "Love Our Fightin’ Phillies."

"People went crazy!" Ellen said. "All 51 passengers were cheering. The Phils won. I played the song on the trip back to the hotel. The next day, on our way to Kissimmee to play the Astros, all of our passengers, from 45 to 85 years old, were singing along, clapping their hands, shouting ‘Woohoo!’ Oh my gosh, it was wild!"

Laffey said: "When I heard that every single Phillies fan on the bus was singing my song word-for-word — well, that’s why I write, to touch people. That’s my dream. So my dream is coming true."


Contact Dan Geringer at geringd@phillynews.com.

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