The Phillies are again embracing ‘Dancing On My Own’ as their postseason party anthem

When the opening chords of the piano-led lyrics were heard over the sound system moments after the team clinched a wild-card spot, Phillies fans erupted in joy.

Kyle Schwarber celebrating in the locker room

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber celebrates after winning a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates to clinch a wild-card playoff spot, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Bryce Harper rushed to the field with his Phillies teammates Tuesday night, ready to kickstart another postseason clinching bash.

But Harper — and all the Phillies — needed to hear the song to really believe the playoff berth was real. Philadelphia had to play the anthem that shot to No. 1 on their 2022 postseason party playlist, only to get forced into a brief retirement.

When the opening chords of the piano-led lyrics were heard over the sound system moments after the team clinched a wild-card spot, Phillies fans erupted in joy. Quickly, the melody transitioned into the powerful chorus, and the sing-along, from the 30,000 fans at Citizens Bank Park down to the Phillies in their postseason sweatshirts jumping along on the infield kicked into overdrive.

“I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her (Philly roars into the, ‘oh oh ohs’) I’m right over here, why can’t you see me? (raise a drink, repeat the ‘ohs’). And I’m giving it my all, I’m not the guy you’re taking home (‘ooh ooh ooh’). I keep dancing on my own.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Yes, “ Dancing on My Own,” a 2016 dance remix performed by a British reality show contestant improbably became the catchiest song of last season’s run to the World Series. And who doesn’t love a tune that is played on repeat? With the Phillies back in the playoffs, the song was dusted off and will get a second act in the 2023 postseason.

“You have to,” Harper said Tuesday night inside a booze-soaked clubhouse. “You play for the Phillies, that song is going to be here.”

How it got to Philly is a matter of some debate.

Garrett Stubbs — the backup catcher-slash-team DJ-slash- overalls fashionista — simply said the Calum Scott song was a “banger” that needed to be added to the postgame playlist. Yes, while the Phillies keep their feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars, they celebrate victories with Stubbs’ songs that are found under his name and “ Phils Win ” on Spotify.

(Current popular clubhouse faves curated by Stubbs include remixes of “Believe” and “Cold Heart” and “Love Tonight” by Shouse).

Former Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki said on a podcast last winter that “Dancing” was a staple in Boston’s clubhouse, and slugger Kyle Schwarber took the song with him when he signed with the Phillies.

No matter how the cover of a song originally performed by Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn landed in Philly, the song was an instant hit.

That was, until it slid down the clubhouse charts.

“Dancing” was last year’s rallying cry and — as some Phillies noted in spring training — a runner-up song after the Phillies fell to the Houston Astros in six games in the World Series.

It was time for a new jam.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“We’re done dancing on our own,” Stubbs declared on a spring training hype video, “cause we’re looking to dance on Broad Street.”

Then the Phillies got off to a sluggish start. They were only 26-32 on June 3, and it was around that time the Phillies realized they needed a key addition to the lineup. Another bat? Nah. A late-inning reliever? Nope.

The Phillies needed “Dancing.”

So they unretired the song in June, playing it first around the batting cages, and the clubhouse as the good vibes returned, and now, at Citizens Bank Park as the soundtrack of postseason victories.

Of course, the charming part is this — no one actually dances alone in the clubhouse. The Phillies usually stomp around and spray beer and belt out off-key lyrics in a clubhouse that more resembles a late-night dance club.

As they say after the final out, play the song!

“I think the memories created with the song on the run we had was real,” outfielder Nick Castellanos said after the clincher. “I also think the city being able to be in on the song was also real. To be able to clinch and put it back on and have the city get just as excited as us means it’s real. And real is beautiful.”

Get daily updates from WHYY News!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal