Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fight Song History

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Fight Song History

Article excerpt


The history of some of the famous college fight songs, and those of local interest:

NOTRE DAME: Victory March

WRITTEN: 1908.

AUTHORS: Father Michael Shea and his brother, John Shea, both Notre Dame graduates.

NOTABLE: First performed by Father Shea on an organ during a service at the Second Congregational Church in his hometown, Holyoke, Mass. ... Joseph Casasanta, the Notre Dame band director from 1919-1942, is credited with creating the arrangement of the song with which football fans are most familiar.


Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame,

Wake up the echoes cheering her name,

Send a volley cheer on high,

Shake down the thunder from the sky!

What though the odds be great or small,

Old Notre Dame will win over all,

While her loyal sons are marching

Onward to victory!

MICHIGAN: The Victors

WRITTEN: 1898.

AUTHOR: Louis Ebel, a student.

NOTABLE: Ebel composed the song after the Wolverines defeated the University of Chicago in the final minute. ... The band's practice field is named in honor of Ebel. ... Former President Gerald Ford sometimes had the song played at his public appearances, instead of Hail to the Chief.


Hail! to the victors valiant

Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes

Hail! Hail! to Michigan

The leaders and best!

Hail! to the victors valiant

Hail! to the conqu'ring heroes

Hail! Hail! to Michigan,

The champions of the West!

FLORIDA: The Blue and the Orange

WRITTEN: Around 1915.

AUTHOR: George Hamilton, UF's first band director (1913-1916).

NOTABLE: Hamilton wrote the LYRICS to the chorus, which is most recognizable to Florida fans. ... The music was copyrighted in 1935 by Thornton W. Allen, who appears to have no historical connection to the university.


So give a cheer for the orange and blue

Waving Forever

Forever Pride of old Florida

May She droop never

We'll sing a song for the flag today

Cheer for the team at play

On to the goal we'll fight our way

For Florida.


WRITTEN: 1950.

AUTHORS: FSU professor Thomas Wright, music; FSU student Doug Alley, lyrics.

NOTABLE: First played at the homecoming game in 1950. ... Wright, who owns the rights to the song, has allowed FSU unrestricted use of the song in exchange for two season tickets per year.


You got to fight, fight, fight for FSU!

You got to scalp 'em Seminoles!

You got to win, win, win, win this game and

Roll on down to make those goals!

For FSU is on the warpath now,

and at the battle's end she's great.

So fight, fight, fight for victory,

the Seminoles of Florida State!




GEORGIA: Glory, Glory to Old Georgia

WRITTEN: 1906.

AUTHOR: Hugh Hodgson, a band student at the time and future Georgia music department head.

NOTABLE: The song, which has the same tune as The Battle Hymn of the Republic, came under criticism soon after it came into use.


Glory, glory to old Georgia!

Glory, glory to old Georgia!

Glory, glory to old Georgia!


GEORGIA TECH: Rambling Wreck

WRITTEN: 1912.

AUTHORS: Billy Walthall, a member of Tech's first four-year graduating class, wrote the lyrics; Mike Greenblatt, Tech's first paid bandleader, wrote the arrangement, to the melody of a Scottish drinking song, Son of a Gambolier. …

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