Fight Songs Of Southern Universities

Post to Twitter

So today I was ruminating on the University of South Carolina’s fight song, called “Step to the Rear,” a fight song in which the only lyrics are “Go Cocks!” Here’s a version played at a football game by The Mighty Sound of the Southeast, but be careful, the visuals might make you seasick. And here is bonus footage of the Gamecock cheer.

Our arch rival Clemson’s fight song is “Hold that Tiger.” I’d recommend a rabies shot first! Okay, technically they call it “Tiger Rag.” But who cares, right? The University of Florida’s main fight song is “The Orange and the Blue.” I guess the title helps students there remember what the school colors are. The University of Miami fight song highlights the fact that football fans there can spell Miami. But Miami probably shouldn’t even be in this post because friends at that school tell me it is too far south to be Southern. The University of Louisville seems to find the entire name of the school too long to pronounce, so it deploys “Fight U of L.” Here is the first stanza:

Fight now for victory and show them
How we sure will win this game
Fight on you Cardinals and prove to them
That we deserve our fame.
Rah, Rah, Rah!
Roll up the score now and beat the foe
So we can give a yell
With a FIGHT! give them all you’ve got
For we are with you U of L.

That “Rah, Rah Rah!” line kind of cracks me up, and the last line, “For we are with you U of L” is a tongue twister. The University of Tennessee seems to have at least two fight songs. I wonder if this confuses the UT band. The first is called “Down the Field.” A second fight song for the University of Tennessee is “Rocky Top”, which speaks quite favorably of moonshine. A fuller if somewhat nasal rendition is here. Note that the second stanza is as follows:

Once there was a girl on rocky top,
Half bear the other half cat.
Wild as a mink, sweet as soda pop,
I still dream about that.

Sexist yes, but it can hardly hold a candle to this excerpt of “Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech”:

Oh if I had a daughter
I’d dress her in white and gold
And put her on the campus
To cheer the brave and bold
But if I had a son, sir
I tell you what he’d do
He’d yell TO HELL WITH GEORGIA
The way his daddy used to do

The melody of the U of Georgia fight song “Glory, Glory to Ole Georgia” sounds strangely familiar. Then there is this abomination from Florida State University. Blech.

–Ann Bartow

Share
This entry was posted in Academia, Sociolinguistics, South Carolina. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Fight Songs Of Southern Universities

  1. Eric says:

    As soon as I clicked on the video for “Step to the Rear” I realized that the melody was familiar from my childhood. I even immediately remembered the first snippet of lyrics: “Would everyone here kindly step to the rear, and let a winner lead the way.” But I had to do a little digging to recall why I knew it. The tune was originally from a Broadway musical (a genre of which my father, an FSU alumnus by the way, was a huge fan and had an impressive collection of original cast recordings) called How Now Dow Jones. According to Wikipedia, the show was a huge flop when it first appeared in the late 1960s. But, given current events, perhaps the time is ripe for a revival.

    Slightly more on topic, I’m not at all sure what the Elon fight song is. But I am sure that it must have been much better before they changed the name of the football team from the Fighting Christians to the Phoenix.

  2. psecunda1014 says:

    Ok. You asked for it. The fight song of Ole Miss. Not exactly sexist, but here it goes:

    Hoddy Toddy, Gosh Almighty
    Who the heck are we? Hey!
    Flim Flam, Bim Bam,
    Ole Miss, by damn!

  3. Ha, ours (NC State, a school I never went to but still claim as a Raleigh native) is considerably tamer:

    We’re the red and white from State
    And we know we are the best
    With one hand behind our back
    We will take on all the rest
    Over the hill, Caroline
    Devils and Deacons stand in line
    We’re the red and white from NC State
    Go state!

    On the other hand, Carolina’s charming unofficial tune is:

    Rah rah, Carolina-lina,
    Rah rah, Carolina-lina,
    Rah rah, Carolina-lina
    GO TO HELL, STATE!

    Classy.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    All these comments are so great I hardly know where to start. Okay, “Fighting Christians.” I’m trying to picture what the mascot was then. A dude dressed up like Jesus, waving a sword around? A giant crucifix holding a machine gun?

    Ole Miss has to ask: “Who the heck are we?” That one kind of writes itself.

    I like the fact that the NC State cheer disses Duke, but why bother, does Duke even have a football team?

    I got my undergraduate degree from Cornell, which was a hockey powerhouse, and the main hockey fight cheer was:
    SCREW B.U.! [Name of immediate competitor school] TOO!

    Of course, we got serenaded with a parody of our alma mater that started out:

    “High above Cayuga’s waters, there’s an awful smell,
    Some say it’s Cayuga’s waters, but it’s just Cornell!

  5. chenx064 says:

    Ann,

    You’ve inspired an entire response:

    http://www.law.louisville.edu/cardinallawyer/node/136

    C-A-R-D-S, C-A-R-D-S, go Cards go!!!

    Jim

  6. Eric says:

    The Fighting Christians logo was actually pretty funny — a cartoonish picture of a guy in a Puritan hat and beard, putting up his dukes. Greensboro also boasts the “Fighting Quakers” of Guilford College (though the official team name is just the Quakers).

  7. Pingback: Noli Irritare Leones » Blog Archive » Blogwatch