In American and Canadian sports, a fight song is a song associated with a team. In both professional and amateur sports, fight songs are a popular way for fans to cheer for their team, and are also laden with history; in singing a fight song, fans feel part of a large, time-honored tradition. Although the term "fight song" is primarily used in the United States, the use of fight songs is commonplace around the world, but they may also be referred to as team anthems, team songs or games songs in other countries, even such as Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. Fight songs differ from stadium anthems, used for similar purposes, in that they are usually written specifically for the purposes of the team, whereas stadium anthems are not.
Hundreds of colleges have fight songs, some of which are over a century old. The oldest collegiate fight song in the United States is Boston College's "For Boston", composed by T.J. Hurley in 1885.
One of the oldest games songs in Australia is Melbourne Grammar's 'Play Together, Dark Blue Twenty', which is sung to the tune of 'The March of the Men of Harlech'. It was composed by Ambrose John Wilson who was principal of the school from 1885-1893. This is not to be confused with the school hymn 'Ora et Labora' which is now sung to the tune of 'Jerusalem'.
Colleges whose names begin with "University of" or "College of" are listed by traditional name; for example, the University of Cincinnati is listed under C, not U.
The service academies are universally referred to in sports media by their associated branch of service. This means, for example, that the United States Military Academy is found at A, for Army.
The abbreviation "St.", standing for "Saint", is alphabetized as if it were spelled out. Some schools officially abbreviate the word (such as St. John's University in New York City), while others officially spell it out (such as Saint Louis University).
Schools which are normally known by a different contraction of their official name, or an acronym/initialism, are listed by their most common name. Examples:
University of Maryland, College Park – Maryland Fight Song (for football – played after opposing team scores) and Maryland Victory Song (more commonly heard during games, for football – played after Maryland scores).
^The Melbourne Grammar games song comprises verses from the school's three main sports at the time, Australian rules football, cricket and rowing. For example the Australian rules verse is:
'Play together, Dark Blue Twenty,
Long and little marks in plenty;
Get your kick, let none prevent ye,
Make the leather roll.
Mark your men, keen effort straining,
On the ball and show your training;
Still though short the time remaining,
Get another goal.'
The chorus between each verse is:
'None our ranks shall sunder.
Who will shirk or blunder?
If all are true
To our Dark Blue,
Our foemen must go under.
Honour ye the old School’s story,
Those who played and won before ye,
Bear the Dark Blue flag to glory,
Grammar to the fore.'
The cricket verse:
Bat with patience unremitting,
Yorker, shooter, break outwitting,
All the loose ones freely hitting,
That’s the game to play.
Skill the bat and ball in wielding,
Smartness, judgement in the fielding,
Iron nerve and pluck unyielding,
Scarce can lose the day.
The rowing verse:
Row the race, boys swing together,
Sinews tough as cords of leather,
Strong, yet light upon the feather,
Lift her, make her go!
Get the catch at the beginning,
Churn the tide in eddies spinning,
Now a spurt, you gain! you’re winning!
Melbourne Grammar, row!
A fourth verse with its own chorus was added in the early 20th century with imperial connotations:
'Some, in strife of sterner omen,
Faced the Empire’s stubborn foemen;
Fought, as erst their sires - her yeomen;
Won the deathless name.
Praise ye these who stood for Britain,
These by foreign marksmen smitten;
Praise them, for their names are written
High in storied fame.
None their ranks could sunder;
Who could shirk or blunder?
So stood they true
To the old Dark Blue,
And all their foes went under.
Honour ye the old School’s story,
Heroes who - her sons before ye -
Died or lived, but fought for glory,
While it is not officially discontinued, this addition is no longer sung.
^Eagle, Chester (1986). Play together, dark blue twenty. Melbourne: Trojan Press.
The University of Arkansas Fight Song, commonly abbreviated to Arkansas Fight, is the primary fight song of the athletics teams of the University of Arkansas. The words and tune to the song were written in 1913 by William Edwin Douglass, a student at the time, and instrumentation and chords were added by Henry D. Tovey, his music professor. The song originated as the "Field Song" and, as can be interpreted from the lyrics, was intended as a football-exclusive song.
"Big C" is a fight song of the University of California, Berkeley. It was composed in 1913 by Harold P. Williams, with lyrics by Norman Loyall McLaren. It was written to commemorate the construction of the large concrete "C" in 1905 on the "rugged Eastern foothills" of the Berkeley campus. The song was the winning entry in the Daily Californian school song competition in 1913. Arrangements of the tune are used by other schools in the University of California system.
The Cougar Fight Song is the official college fight song of the University of Houston (UH). It was written by Marion Ford with lyrics by Forest Fountain, both UH students. It is typically performed by the Spirit of Houston.The Cougar Fight Song was popularized by Ed Gerlach, a UH music professor, and his orchestra in the 1950s. In 2002, Norm Maves, Jr. of The Oregonian named the song as the 7th best college fight song in America.
"Dynamite" is the official fight song of Vanderbilt University, written by Francis Craig in 1922, when Craig was an undergraduate student at the university. It is played at football games, basketball games, and at other Commodore sports events.
Glory, Glory is the rally song for the Georgia Bulldogs, the athletics teams for the University of Georgia. Glory, Glory is sung to the tune of "John Brown's Body" and was sung at football games as early as the 1890s. The song was arranged after the Union marching song in its current form by Hugh Hodgson in 1915.
Although being the de facto fight song, the official fight song is "Hail to Georgia".
"ISU Fights" is the fight song of Iowa State University. The song, which made its debut in 1930, is often played at sporting events, and otherwise it is mostly only sung by the Iowa Statesmen, the official men's choir of Iowa State, which generally sings the song at the end of their concerts, as part of a collection of school songs, starting with "Rise, Sons of Iowa State," "For I, For S, For Ever," the alma mater "Bells of Iowa State," and then finally "ISU Fights." These songs are often collectively referred to as the Iowa State Fight Songs, though "ISU Fights" is the official fight song. "
The "Iowa Fight Song" is one of three fight songs currently used by the University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band along with On Iowa and Roll Along Iowa. The music and lyrics were written by Iowa native Meredith Willson, author of The Music Man, in 1951. The song is mostly a contrafact to his hit, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," much in the same way that "76 Trombones" and "Goodnight, My Someone" from The Music Man are based on the same harmonic structure.
The song was used in a 2007 commercial for the Iowa Lottery, where a Hawkeye fan sings different words to it for an instant ticket game. Meredith Willson's widow, Rosemary, protested the song's use in a lottery commercial, while university faculty members urged the athletic department to distance itself from the state lottery, fearing it would promote gambling. The ad was pulled soon after.
Rachel Ashley Platten (born May 20, 1981) is an American singer and songwriter. After releasing two albums independently in 2003 and 2011, she signed with Columbia Records in 2015 and released her debut single, "Fight Song", about depression which peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, topped charts in the United Kingdom and peaked within the top ten of multiple charts worldwide. Platten won a Daytime Emmy Award for a live performance of the song on Good Morning America. Her major-label debut studio album, Wildfire (2016), was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and featured the follow-up singles "Stand by You" and "Better Place". Her second major-label album, Waves (2017), peaked at number 73 in the United States.
"The Fight Song" is the fight song of the Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman, Washington. The music to the tune was composed in 1919 by WSU student Phyllis Sayles with fellow student Zella Melcher penning the lyrics. Sayles, who had transferred to WSU from Northwestern University two years before composing "The Fight Song", is also responsible for arranging the 1917 edition of the Northwestern University Songbook.A non-scientific, 1997 survey undertaken by the Spokesman-Review found few students, employees, and supporters of WSU knew the lyrics to the song, noting that "when it comes to the acid test of Cougar spirit – the ability to sing the fight song on a moment’s notice – almost everyone flunks." Nonetheless, the 1985 film Volunteers features a lyrically correct rendition of "The Fight Song" by John Candy, whose character, Tommy Tuttle, is an alumnus of the university. In the plotline of that film, "The Fight Song" is subsequently adopted by a group of Thai communist partisans as a battle cry.In 2013 new uniforms for the Washington State Cougars men's basketball team were debuted which featured the lyrics to "The Fight Song" on the backs of both home and away jerseys.Some supporters of Washington State University's athletic teams have been known to construct banjos out of used tins of Cougar Gold cheese (a cheddar produced by the Washington State University Creamery) which they then use to perform "The Fight Song." These instruments are colloquially known as "canjos."
"The Victors" is the fight song of the University of Michigan (UM) written and composed by UM student Louis Elbel in 1898. The song was first played publicly by John Philip Sousa and his band.
An abbreviated version of the fight song, based on the final refrain, is played after the football team either scores or makes a decisive defence play, such as an interception. Its full lyrics span several verses that run of more than two-minute duration. The melody of the fight song is very similar to the trio section from "The Spirit of Liberty March", published seven months earlier by Tin Pan Alley composer George "Rosey" Rosenberg.
The phrase "champions of the West" is often misunderstood; it is a reference to Michigan's membership in the Western Conference, later renamed the Big Ten. After Michigan temporarily withdrew from the Western Conference in 1907, a new Michigan fight song "Varsity" was written in 1911 because the line "champions of the West" was no longer relevant."The Victors" is considered one of the top fight songs ever written and considered the first significant fight song to be written. The fight song is written as a military march format.
"There Goes Old Georgetown" (Listen) is the unofficial name of the Georgetown University sports teams' fight song. It is also known as simply "Georgetown Fight Song". It is actually an amalgamation of three songs, only the oldest of which, 1913's "The Touchdown Song", contains the lyric "here goes old Georgetown". Onto a version of this was added "Cheer for Victory", written in 1915, and "The Hoya Song", written in 1930, both of which are included in their entirety. The authors of these songs, and of the combined version, are unknown. Although some effort has been taken to change the song, no serious proposal has come forth.
The Tribe Fight Song is the official fight song of The College of William & Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Throughout the College's history there have been three official fight songs. The original fight song, titled Victory, was written in 1929 by Oscar E. Wilkinson. Two years later, a new fight song titled Fight, Fight, Fight for the Indians1 was published in the William & Mary student handbook. Many years later, a third edition was written which is still used today. Simply Tribe Fight Song, it is supposed to be sung after every touchdown the Tribe football team scores at home games.A second, lesser known song was composed by Rolf Kennard in the 1930s. The William & Mary Victory March is occasionally played before games, most often at Homecoming.
The University of North Texas (UNT) is a public research university in Denton, Texas. Eleven colleges, two schools, an early admissions math and science academy for exceptional high-school-age students from across the state, and a library system comprise the university core. Its research is driven by about 38 doctoral degree programs. North Texas was founded as a nonsectarian, coeducational, private teachers college in 1890 and was formally adopted by the state 11 years later. UNT is the flagship institution of the University of North Texas System, which includes additional universities in Dallas and Fort Worth. UNT also has a satellite campus in Frisco.
"Victory March" is the fight song for the University of Notre Dame. The Rev. Michael J. Shea, a 1905 Notre Dame graduate, wrote the music, and his brother, John F. Shea, who earned degrees from Notre Dame in 1906 and 1908, wrote the original lyrics. The lyrics were revised in the 1920s; Victory March first appeared under the copyright of the University of Notre Dame in 1928.
The chorus of the song is one of the most recognizable collegiate fight songs in the world and was ranked first among fight songs by Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell, who remarked it was "more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more."
"Victory for MSU", formerly "MSU Fight Song", is the official fight song of Michigan State University, US. MSU's fight song was created in early 1915 (and copyrighted in 1919), when MSU was known as Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.). An MSU cheerleader, Francis Irving Lankey, along with lyricist Arthur Sayles, created the song. With several changes noted below, the school has used the same song ever since. The MSU Fight Song is played at all university sporting events and is frequently sung by students and alumni.
It has been ranked as the #6 best college fight song by the BleacherReport and called one of the NCAA's best fight songs by ESPN.
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