Singalonga Higher Ed

Lyrical challenges at the University of Utah

 

Inside Higher Ed has a diverting piece on the changes being made to the University of Utah’s ‘fight song’ to address some of the lyrical challenges of the original:

The line “our coeds are the fairest” will be replaced with “our students are the finest” and the line “no other gang of college men” will now be “no rival band of college fans.” A further complication is that the song has been called “A Utah Man.” From now on it will be called “A Utah Man/Fan.

 

The Official Athletic Site of the University of Utah has the original lyrics in full:

 

VERSE
I am a Utah man, sir, and I live across the green.
Our gang, it is the jolliest that you have ever seen.
Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star.
Our yell, you hear it ringing through the mountains near and far.

utah-logoCHORUS
Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I A Utah man, sir, and will be till I die; Ki!Yi!
We’re up to snuff; we never bluff,
We’re game for any fuss,
No other gang of college men
dare meet us in the muss.
So fill your lungs and sing it out and
shout it to the sky,
We’ll fight for dear old Crimson,
for a Utah man am I.

VERSE
And when we prom the avenue, all lined up in a row,
And arm in arm and step in time as down the street we go.
No matter if a freshman green, or in a senior’s gown,
The people all admit we are the warmest gang in town.

CHORUS

VERSE
We may not live forever on this jolly good old sphere,
But while we do we’ll live a life of merriment and cheer,
And when our college days are o’er and night is drawing nigh,
With parting breath we’ll sing that song:
“A Utah Man Am I”.

 
It’s rather quaint in a way but probably needs to be retired rather than edited in this way. I must admit though to being intrigued by the idea of a university having a ‘fight song’. I can understand football teams having songs (see for example this classic which is in a similar vein to the Utah song) but universities?

Anyway, it seems this kind of thing is not as unusual as I had thought as Mike Ratcliffe (@mike_rat) kindly pointed out with this wonderful extract from the Leeds University Song Book from 1922:

Leeds song

 

More recently we have the following, a song produced a few years ago about ‘The student learning experience at Nottingham University’. Not a fight song but certainly offensive in parts:

Any other university songs?

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6 thoughts on “Singalonga Higher Ed

  1. It’s a massive genre in the US – almost every college and university has its own fight song – a list of them here: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_song

    But my favourite has to be Tom Lehrer’s affectionate parody of the genre, ‘Fight Fiercely, Harvard’:

    Fight fiercely Harvard,
    fight, fight, fight!
    Demonstrate to them our skill.
    Albeit they possess the might,
    Nonetheless we have the will.
    How we shall celebrate our victory,
    We shall invite the whole team up for tea
    (How jolly!)
    Hurl that spheroid down the field, and
    Fight, fight, fight!

    Fight fiercely, Harvard,
    fight, fight, fight!
    Impress them with our prowess, do!
    Oh, fellows, do not let the crimson down,
    Be of stout heart and true.
    Come on, chaps, fight for Harvard’s glorious name,
    Won’t it be peachy if we win the game?
    (Oh, goody!)
    Let’s try not to injure them, but
    Fight, fight, fight!
    Let’s not be rough, though
    Fight, fight, fight!

    And to get the full effect you can hear him perform it here: http://youtu.be/27PSHASlGUU

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