Kenesaw Mountain Landis was a bad mother fucker
He was seventeen feet tall, he had a hundred and fifty wives
He didn't do that much except he saved the game of baseball
He put two and two together and he noticed it was four
Now the treachery of Shoeless Joe can't hurt us anymore
And he'll always be remembered as Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Fellow named Joe Jackson was a fielder for the Black Sox
And he always wore his black socks, but he never wore no shoes
He weren't the nicest fellow and he had a couple problems
Cause he drank a lot and he beat his wife and he always acted rude
He killed and ate some babies and he copped an attitude
And the one man that he hated most was Kenesaw Mountain Landis

The mafia said Shoeless Joe
You should really run this show
You should be the guy who owns baseball
And all you really gotta do
Is help us make a buck or two
We'll bet on the other team
You'll lose the game but make it seem
Like nothing could be further from the truth

Shoeless Joe did what they said he dropped a couple fly balls
And he walked up to the pitcher and he poked him in the eye
And in the seventh inning with the Black Sox nearly beaten
There was someone who was watching from his blimp above the stands
Cradling a rifle in his thick and meaty hands
And as if you hadn't guessed yet it was Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Kenesaw said drop that glove
Or I swear by God above
I'll make you regret playing baseball
And Shoeless Joe looked up and saw
The silver rifle's gaping maw
And though no one had noticed yet
His underwear was getting wet
He peed himself in front of everyone

Shoeless Joe was finished but he couldn't quite admit it
So he raised his middle finger up above the other four
And Kenesaw took careful aim and fired a single bullet
And he shot that dirty finger off and he dropped his trusty gun
And everybody in the stands knew that he had won
And today they still refer to him as Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Shoeless Joe left baseball and because a famous pop star
And he asked the musical question is she really going out with him
He had a couple albums and a comeback in the 80's
But he never won a Grammy and he never was the same
And he never could be satisfied with critical acclaim
Cause the critics all confused him with the great Elvis Costello
Yes the critics all confused him with the great Elvis Costello

Lyrics submitted by neko-chan

Kenesaw Mountain Landis song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the Black Sox Scandal, in which several baseball players in the Chicago White Sox - including "Shoeless" Joe Jackson - were convinced to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series for gambling purposes. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's first commissioner, banned them from the sport in 1920.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Code Monkeyon June 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYep, you're correct Code Monkey!
    Self Loathing Squidon March 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe last stanza refers to the '80s singer Joe Jackson, who was often compared to Elvis Costello. Needless to say, pretty much the entire song is fictional, and Joe Jackson has nothing to do with Shoeless Joe (who, IMO, deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. He's not eligible because he's banned, as Code Monkey noted.)
    darlington June 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningThis song was written in the spirit of a great tall tale. It exaggerates the facts, fabricates parts out of whole cloth, and pokes fun at Joe Jackson for having an unfortunate, coincidental name-share. Like most of Coulton's songs, take it with the prescribed grain of salt. It's all in fun.
    NightRavenon March 10, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationIt's also about how history gets quickly turned into stories; it always makes me think of a scened in Futurama in which a 30th Century theme park centred about the 20th Century features Hammurabbi partying with Albert Einstein in an hot-air balloon whilst cowboys and Mongols hunt mastodons.

    (Note: buckled shoes were popular around 1750; 19th Century American artists portrayed the 17th Century Pilgrims's wearing them because they looked 'old-fashioned', never mind that they were off by a why not believe that Shoeless Joe sang 'Is she really gonna take him home tonight?'?, that's just off by 50 years.)
    GeraldFnordon June 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCode Monkey is right aside from saying Shoeless Joe was convinced to do it. There's a lot of strong evidence leaning toward his innocence. There are still many people who want his ban lifted so he can be added to the Baseball Hall of Fame. :)
    uberwekknesson October 26, 2009   Link

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