“Moneyball” and the Case of the Copycat Song

I saw “Moneyball” this weekend. It’s an excellent movie, but I still think Michael Lewis’ book is even better. My suggestion: Go read the book. Then go see the movie.

But one thing the movie has, which the book doesn’t, is a subplot involving Beane’s 12-year-old daughter. In the movie the daughter sings and plays guitar, and the song she writes becomes kind of an anthem for her father.

The song, called “The Show,”  was actually written by a singer-songwriter named Lenka and released in 2008. Here’s Kerris Dorsey’s cover (she’s the actress who plays the daughter), in a video that looks like a trailer for the movie:

Lovely song, eh? But since I’m a hobbyist musician, I spend a lot of time listening to music, and I thought it sounded familiar. Like, really familiar. Like, substitute-other-lyrics-on-top-of-existing-song familiar.

Which existing song? “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (first released in 2005):

I took a look at the chords, and they’re not the same (though I think they’re both using variations on the I-IV-V chord progressions). Then I compared the first two lines:

“The Show”:

I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle

“I’m Yours””

Well uh you dawned on me and you bet I felt it,
I tried to be chill but you’re so hot that I melted,

Similar number of syllables, similar meter. You could easily sing those four lines as a single verse.


9 thoughts on ““Moneyball” and the Case of the Copycat Song

    • Yes. Chronology (if Wikipedia data is accurate): 1. “Anyone Else But You” by The Moldy Peaches (released in 2001, and later sung by Michael Cera and Ellen Page in the 2007 film “Juno”). 2. “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz (recorded in 2004/2007, released various dates 2005-2008). 3. “The Show” by Lenka (released in 2008, and later sung by Kerris Dorsey in the 2011 film “Moneyball”). Of these, my favorite is “Anyone Else But You” and how it was used in “Juno” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBDbUVXXp-U).

  1. I’ve just seen the movie and looked for the song because I liked it. Then I found this blog and understood why the song from Jason Mraz came to my mind out of nowhere…

  2. Thank you for this! I was thinking it was very familiar and it was really bugging me. A quick Google search later and I find this and now I’m at peace again.

  3. I saw the movie last night on TV
    When she started singing I thought she was singing a Jason Mraz song and then thought they changed a few words to have “The Show” as that is what my MLB buddies call it

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