Gooooo sports! Or something like that.
With another college football season kicking off recently, the ritual of turning on the sports channel every Saturday makes us nostalgic. And with every touchdown scored, every halftime show aired, we hear every college marching band sing their time-tested fight song. So, to tap into that feeling of camaraderie, we decided to take a closer look at some of the best fight songs that are suitable for almost any sporting occasion.
1. “The Victors”, University of Michigan
Located in the Great Lakes megacity of Ann Arbor, the Michigan Wolverines have a rather historic fight song. First, their fight song, “The Victors”, was written by college student Louis Elbel in 1898. Elbel wrote the lyrics after watching the Michigan football team win a last-minute victory over the University of Chicago to win a league championship.
And second, President Gerald Ford preferred “The Victors” to the typical presidential anthem “Hail to the Chief.” The United States Marine Band played “The Victors” as President Ford’s entrance anthem from 1974 to 1977 and a slow version of the song was played at his funeral.
2. “Notre Dame Victory March”, University of Notre Dame
This fight song was written by Notre Dame alumni and brothers, Michael J. Shea and John F. Shea. Today the song is performed by The Band of the Fighting Irish, but the “Notre Dame Victory March” made its official debut in late 1908 at an event honoring the university president. At this event, the song was first sung by the Notre Dame Glee Club which was accompanied by the university orchestra.
3. “Yea Alabama!”, The University of Alabama
Written in 1926 by Ethelred Lundy “Epp” Sykes, “Yea Alabama! was created after Alabama’s first Rose Bowl win. Syles had entered a contest in the Jammer Pestle magazine that called for a new fight song for the SEC school, and as we now know, its lyrics took the cake.
4. “Rocky Top”, University of Tennessee
“Rocky Top” is not the University of Tennessee’s de jure fight song, but rather the de facto fight song chosen by students and fans alike. (The official fight song is “Down the Field.”) But the fact that people chose “Rocky Top” says a lot about the charisma of this song.
5. “Anchors Aweigh”, United States Naval Academy
“Anchors Aweigh” was first played over a century ago in a match between the Naval Academy and the United States Military Academy (Army vs. Navy). That was 1906 to be exact, and the Navy hadn’t beaten the Army since 1900. Safe to say, the tone stuck and “Anchors Aweigh” is now also associated with the US Navy as a whole, and not only at the naval academy.
6. “Buckeye Battle Cry”, Ohio State University
While Ohio State’s mascot is arguably one of the most bizarre in the country (Brutus Buckeye), the university’s official fight song is high-caliber. Frank Crumit, singer, songwriter and vaudeville star, wrote “Buckeye Battle Cry” and entered it in a song contest in 1919. At the time, construction of the Ohio Stadium was underway and the college was looking for a new fight song to fill its shiny new bleachers. “Buckeye Battle Cry” hit home and remains the school’s fight song to this day.
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