Jon Caspi & the First Gun teams with Jesse Malin for re-release of ‘Raise ‘Em High!’ anthem

raise 'em high malin

Jon Caspi & the First Gun’s new version of “Raise ‘Em High!” features Jesse Malin and Dez Cadena.

The Jersey-based band Jon Caspi & the First Gun is re-releasing their enduringly popular 2013 song “Raise ‘Em High!” with guest vocals by the punk-influenced singer-songwriter Jesse Malin; you can listen to it in the video embedded below.

Guitarist Dez Cadena, who has played with punk legends Black Flag and The Misfits and sometimes plays with Caspi and the First Gun, is featured as well.

In conjunction with the re-release, the Alternate Ending Beer Co. brewpub in Aberdeen has announced the creation of Raise ‘Em High! Beer, and Caspi and the band will perform a free, outdoor show there to celebrate the release of both the beer and the single, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m.

The song — whose big chorus is perfectly designed for joyous singalongs in bars and nightclubs, as well as at boozy sporting events — is regularly played on WFMU-FM by DJ Glen “Jonesy” Jones at 2 p.m. on his noon-3 p.m. show on Sundays, and a Facebook page has been created where his listeners can post photos of themselves raising glasses and toasting each other.

The opening lyrics are written from the point of view of a sports team saluting the team they have just played:


Jesse Malin, left, with Jon Caspi.

Raise ’em up, raise ’em high
Make a toast to the other side
They earned our respect, they put up a fight
Raise a toast to the other side.

An average bunch, that’s what we are
No ringers here, no superstars
We play our best, we play with heart
We win sometimes, despite the odds

A later verse, though, is about a different team that “used to spit in our face, they called us names, but we kicked their ass and we put them to shame.”

“It’s an anthem for underdogs, like my beloved Mets,” said Cadena in a press release.

Caspi and the First Gun will also release this new version of “Raise ‘Em High!” on a new EP, titled Raise ‘Em High! & Other Delights, due out Oct. 14.

For more on the band, visit

Here is the new “Raise ‘Em High!”:


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