06 February 2009

On, Wisconsin!

Being born in Michigan to parents who were born and raised there, I've grown up to be a University of Michigan Wolverine fan. GO BLUE! But being that my Dad entered a call to ministry when I was 7, I have also had the opportunity to cheer for the Kentucky Wildcats, Nebraska Cornhuskers and the University of Illinois.

My parents accepted a call to a church in Wisconsin in the spring of my one and only year away at college. Prior to that, my only exposure to the great land of cheese and brats was coming through with my parents on a few vacations to visit my grandparents, you guessed it....in Michigan.

Now, I *love* college football and basketball, especially anything Big Ten Conference related. Even when the teams that I love aren't doing well; if I have a chance to watch a game, I'm gonna. Seems in recent years that I am more of a Wisconsin Badgers fan than I ever knew. They're growing on me. (After almost 15 years, haha! Don't tell my Mom.)

So imagine my surprise at myself yesterday when it dawns on me that I haven't a clue what the words to the UW-Madison fight song are. Can that be? Can I have been a true fan and not have known the words to the fight song of one of the greatest teams in the Big Ten?? Shocking!

Off to Wikipedia I go.....(I freakin' love that site!)

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!*
Run the ball clear down the field,*
A touchdown sure this time. (U rah rah)

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Fight on for her fame
Fight! Fellows! - fight, fight, fight!
We'll win this game.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Stand up, Badgers, sing!
"Forward" is our driving spirit,
Loyal voices ring.

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Raise her glowing flame
Stand, Fellows, let us now
Salute her name!
* Sometimes these lyrics are altered to say "Run the ball clear down the field, boys--touchdown sure this time!"

I like it! Dare I say that I think the words are even more interesting than I'd hoped? (I know, I'm a geek. I'm okay with that.)

And here are even a few facts that Wikipedia provided me that I found interesting:

**"On, Wisconsin!" was the cry that Arthur MacArthur, Jr. used in the Battle of Chattanooga at Missionary Ridge, in the Civil War. He seized the regimental colors, and rallied his regiment with "On, Wisconsin!", for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

**"On, Wisconsin!" was regarded by John Philip Sousa as "the finest of college marching songs".

**It is featured in the Beach Boys' 1963 hit song, "Be True to Your School."

**An instrumental version of the song was used in the 1973 Disney animated film Robin Hood. During the fight scene where the music is played, Friar Tuck (portrayed as a badger) is cheering loudly.

**The tune was composed in 1909 by William T. Purdy, with the intention of entering it into a competition for a new fight song at the University of Minnesota.
Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin-Madison student, convinced him to withdraw it from the contest at the last minute and allow his alma mater to use it instead. Beck then wrote the original, football-oriented lyrics, changing the words "Minnesota, Minnesota" to "On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!"

**And here's a bit of trivia that my sis will appreciate: The first few bars of this song are sung near the beginning of episode 72 on M*A*S*H.

Now, isn't that everything you wanted to know??? (Humor me...c'mon!)


Jen said...

And FTR, I cheer for MI when the Wolverines and Badgers play. It's in my blood, I can't help it! :)

Heather said...

Heck Ya sis got to love my M A S H, i didnt know that, that is cool

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Go Badgers! Thanks for the words--I know the tune, but not the words. Did you know the Packers used to have a song? You should look that one up too! ;-)