As we prepare for next week’s National Championship, let’s review the musical cheering strategies of the two teams.
The fight song of the University of Alabama was written by an engineering student in 1926. And it goes like this:
Yea, Alabama! Drown ’em Tide! Every ‘Bama man’s behind you, hit your stride!
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave, send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave!
And if a man starts to weaken, that’s a shame!
For ‘Bama’s pluck and grit have writ her name in Crimson flame!
Fight on, fight on, fight on, men! Remember the Rose Bowl we’ll win then!
Go, roll to victory, hit your stride,
You’re Dixie’s football pride, Crimson Tide!
The song was a hit back in 1930, but since that time the extent of the lyrics has proven difficult for folks to remember. Nobody seems to know all the words, including the players. You can Google videos of the team and various alums failing to sing it correctly. And the melody is pretty nondescript. (However, this year the song gets an extra credit for actually referencing Georgia’s mascot.)
The fight song of the University of Georgia is quite different. The school’s official song is Hail to Georgia (as in “I hail from Georgia, where the hail you from?). But nobody sings that song, instead they rely on a simple ditty called “Glory, Glory” which goes like this:
What’s interesting about this song is the melody comes from the highly recognizable “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” which was the Union Army fight song throughout the Civil War. It was probably sung or hummed by northern soldiers to keep time as they marched south on their way to burn Atlanta in 1864. Inexplicably, as early as 1890, the tune had been co-opted by Bulldog Nation, and it was arranged and officially recognized in 1915.
So who’s got the better musical game plan for next Monday? You gotta go with Georgia, for a bunch of reasons: 1. It’s the catchiest tune in the world. 2. The lyrics are so simple fans remember them no matter how many beers are involved. 3. The final line is easily and commonly reworked, so when folks tire of spelling GEORGIA they just say, “To hell with Alabama”.
Finally, the national championship is being held in Atlanta. So it’s basically a home game. Against a hated SEC rival. Which means if Georgia loses the place might explode.
It would be a real tragedy for folks to be humming this particular tune while they are burning down Atlanta for a second time.