The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank‘s new album, American Shuffle features the song “Old Number Four,” an ode to retired Packers/Jets/Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. As of this morning, the YouTube upload of the song (embedded above) had reached nearly 30,000 listens.
The Green Bay Press Gazette published a story about the song on April 22 that was later picked up by cbssports.com and other news outlets.
Both haunting and affectionate, “Old Number Four” pays homage to the former Green Bay Packers quarterback with Americana harmonica, harmonies and lyrics that capture a hero nearing the end of his run.
The Gazette story notes that it was Favre’s performance in the 2010 NFC championship game between the Vikings and New Orleans Saints that inspired Ian Alexy to write the song.
“He was hobbling on one leg. Just incredible. I had never really seen anything like that. And then it was kind of heartbreaking when they lost in the final seconds,” he said.
Ian was working as a delivery driver at Pizza Luce in Duluth the day after the game. He sat down in the restaurant and wrote the song in 10 minutes.
“I was just thinking about Favre’s performance … what spirit he has really. It was like I wanted to let him know that people really appreciate him, because he was also getting a lot of criticism after that game,” Ian said.
Bright shining lights, the field and the blood
You carry their burdens you carry their love
And you always get up when you’re knocked to the floor
Can’t break your spirit, Old Number Four
There’s rhyme and there’s reason all throughout time
There’s hope and there’s stories in the legends we find
There’s heroes and myth, mystic and lore
But there’s never been nothin’ like Old Number Four
Now the battle ahead is brutal and rough
Gettin’ older my friend, though I know that you’re tough
You’ve been battered and beaten and bruised to the core
But they can’t break your spirit, Old Number Four
Now the screams from the crowd rattle your ears
They throw their gestures like stones and like spears
And you gave all you had, then you gave more
They’ll never forget you, Old Number Four.
There’s also a song about famed baseball manager Billy Martin on American Shuffle:
And here’s a promo documentary about the album:
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