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Football Fight Song

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Fight fiercely, Harvard;
Fight, fight, fight!
Impress them with our prowess,
Tom Lehrer, "Fight Fiercely, Harvard", Songs by Tom Lehrer

Every great football team needs a hard-hitting fight song. Every high school has one, every college has one, and some NFL teams have 'em. It's a great and easy way to support the team and remind the crowd which team just got the touchdown. This isn't just limited to football; most competitive sports (usually ball games) will have this played with each point scored.

There are two types of songs. The most common one heard is the actual Fight Song, which is usually short, sweet, and to the point. The lyrics are memorable, very upbeat, and is normally played as loud as possible. This is typically the song that is played for every touchdown. The other version of this is the School Song. Compared to its brother, this is played before and after the game in order to show off the overall school spirit to the other team. The lyrics aren't quite as memorable, but much stronger in essence. The key to a good school song is having the tune be both happy and sad; if the game is won, it is meant to let the players take a deep breath and look over their success. If the game was lost, it's a more reassuring tone, reminding that one loss isn't the end of the world, and that the experiences should teach them how to better themselves, not just learn how to win.

Despite how epic some of these songs are, the people who play these songs will still be bullied Monday morning.

See also Alma Mater Song and Music at Sporting Events for more general information. Often intersects with Bragging Theme Tune.

Rah! Rah! Rah! Go, Examples!



  • "Buckle Down, Winsocki" from Best Foot Forward.
  • The Rydell fight song from Grease.
  • "Grand Old Ivy" from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
  • "Look Out" from Too Many Girls.
  • "The Wildcats" from Allegro.
  • Parodied in High Button Shoes with "Nobody Ever Died For Dear Old Rutgers," which advocates Throwing the Fight.
  • "Tait Song" from Good News.
  • Let 'Em Eat Cake, the sequel to Of Thee I Sing, has "Up And At 'Em," a baseball fight song for the Supreme Court (It Makes Sense in Context), which includes the cheer:
    Status quo, status quo, siss boom bah!
    Habeas corpus, rah, rah, rah!
  • Two inversions can be found at American universities, both currently members of the Southeastern Conference:
    • "Hey, Look Me Over", from Wildcat, is now better known among college football fans as "Hey, Fightin' Tigers", one of LSU's school songs (though not the official fight song—that would be "Fight for LSU"—it's played almost as often as the official one).
    • "Step to the Rear", from How Now, Dow Jones, became South Carolina's "The Fighting Gamecocks Lead the Way". The South Carolina lyrics were written by the school's head football coach and athletic director at the time, Paul Dietzel.


  • The Unseen University Master of Music attempts to compose one in Unseen Academicals. It's explained to him that this isn't how it works; the chants are generated spontaneously by the crowd, and a multi-part round in Latatian isn't exactly the sort of thing they go for anyway.

Live-Action Television

  • According to Muppets Tonight, Gonzo went to college, and the college had a fight song. It mainly consisted of reciting the college's full (and absurdly long) name.
  • The theme song of Coach was the instrumental version of the fight song of the team run by the titular coaches, the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles. The song itself was only sung in full when the team celebrated a win (Which happened so infrequently that nobody - not even the coaches - remembers more than the first two lines).
  • There's a very British one in Rutland Weekend Television. It panders to the stereotypes .

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner has the Crazy Go Nuts University fight song:
    Fighting, and sometimes striving,
    Wondering what the Dumple is.
    Excellence, and what is valor?
    And The Cheat will hit stuff with a golf club!
    C! G! N! U!

Web Comics


  • Parodied by Tom Lehrer on Songs by Tom Lehrer with the Lighter and Softer "Fight Fiercely, Harvard!" — perhaps too affectionately, as it was adopted by Harvard in Real Life.
  • Marilyn Manson's The Fight Song is not, but the music video is.
  • Leonard Bernstein rewrote the final chorus of Igor Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex to the fight song he thought it sounded like, giving it new Latin lyrics and recording it with the Harvard Glee Club.
  • In his Yale days, Cole Porter wrote "Bulldog" and "Bingo Eli Yale" for his alma mater.
  • The fight song of Cornell University, "Give My Regards to Davy," has nothing to do with sports. Its lyrics are a parody of "Give My Regards to Broadway" and detail a student's expulsion for binge drinking. He promises to return and drink again, but sends his regards to school administrators in the meantime.
  • With the power of rock, a high school team went from last place to winners all thanks to KISS songs.
  • Perhaps the best known Real Life example from the NFL is the Philadelphia Eagles' fight song, "Fly, Eagles, Fly".
    • And if that one isn't, "Hail to the Redskins", used by the Washington Commanders before it ditched its flame-bait nickname, almost certainly is.
      • And both are sometimes overshadowed by "Bear Down, Chicago Bears".
      • When they were still the NFL's butt of the joke, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided they needed one. "Hey, Hey, Tampa Bay" was born. And instantly reviled by everyone.
  • "For Boston", the fight song for Boston College, was covered by the Dropkick Murphys on one of their albums. They've been known to open a good portion of their shows with it.
    • "Shippin' Up to Boston" is commonly used this way at other Boston sporting events.
  • In soccer and Rugby Union, teams have full-fledged anthems. And the supporters make fight songs too — sometimes "attack songs" about the team's archrival (which can be sung before any game, without said rival playing) or a rival player.
    • The New Zealand national rugby team doesn't just have a fight song, they have the Ka'Mate Haka, a Mãori war dance, which has since been adopted by New Zealand national teams in other sports. Seeing a team perform this before they meet you on the field has to be a bit demoralizing....
  • Every Australian Rules Football team, from the AFL to local under-8s teams, has a theme song. Here are the AFL ones.
  • "Anchors Aweigh" (Navy), "The U.S. Air Force"note  (Air Force) and "The Army Goes Rolling Along" (Army) were originally written as fight songs for their respective military academies but now have become the official songs of their respective service branches.
    • Today, the only one that's still the fight song for its academy is "Anchors Aweigh". Air Force's fight song is now the "Falcon Fight Song", and Army's is "On Brave Old Army Team".
  • The "Aggie War Hymn", representing Texas A&M University, was written by J.V. "Pinky" Wilson in 1920 as one big Take That! to rival school University of Texas at Austin. Another verse was added in 1928 to lessen the focus on UTnote ; however, most Aggies neglect to sing it.
    • Since 2012, UT and A&M have been in different conferences, leaving A&M with a song deriding a football rival that no longer exists. UT has the same problem, as the second line of "Texas Fight" is 'and it's goodbye to A&M'. However, that problem will be averted before too long, since UT will join A&M in the Southeastern Conference some time between 2022 and 2025.
      • Also of note about UT's fight song is that the line "hail, hail the gang's all here" is almost never actually sung by any contemporary audience and is instead replaced with either "give 'em hell, give 'em hell, go Horns go," or "give 'em hell, give 'em hell, make 'em eat shit," depending on one's audience.
  • Notre Dame's "Victory March" might be the most well-known college football fight song, as Notre Dame features in, by far, the most college football movies.
    • It's even traveled across the Pacific, where the Sydney Swans use a rewritten version as their team song. The most beloved line in the Swans' song, "Shake down the thunder from the sky", is the actually the one line borrowed intact from the Notre Dame original.
  • "On Wisconsin" (University of Wisconsin-Madison, aka "the University of Wisconsin" to all but pedants and those who attend one of the other campuses) starts with the upper brass playing a descending scale while the lower brass play an ascending one, which is such an iconic musical figure that those four bars alone are enough to suggest a fight song. (The University of Alabama's "Yea Alabama" starts with pretty much exactly the same pattern, though the rest of the song is different.)
  • Another famous one from the Midwest is the University of Michigan's "(Hail to) The Victors"—which even in-state rivals Michigan State admit is catchy (infuriating, but catchy). Gerald Ford, who had been a star center at Michigan, preferred when possible to be played in with "The Victors" rather than the usual Presidential leitmotif, "Hail to the Chief."
    • This extended to Ford's funeral. When his body arrived in Grand Rapids, where he was buried, the university's marching band did play "Hail to the Chief"—but followed it with the school's alma mater, "The Yellow and Blue", and ended with "The Victors".
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Sports Song" is a highly generic fight song whose verses often border on Purple Prose ("We're gonna kick your collective posterior/Of course you realize we're speaking figuratively") but whose chorus boils down the point of all said songs quite succinctly:
    We're great (WE'RE GREAT!) and you suck (YOU SUCK!)
    We're great (WE'RE GREAT!) and you suck (YOU SUCK!)
    We're great (WE'RE GREAT!) and you suck (YOU SUCK!)
    You see there's us (WE'RE GREAT!), and then there's you (YOU SUCK!)
    We're really, really, great (REALLY GREAT!) In contrast, you really suck (REALLY SUCK!)
    Okay, full disclosure, we're not that great, but nevertheless, YOU SUCK!
  • Nephew's "The Danish Way To Rock", which features backup vocals by the entire Danish national soccer team.
  • They also exist in Canadian football. Every Canadian Football League team has an official song, with the Toronto Argonauts' song being a typical example.
    The Argos will win for you!
    Full of fight and courage you can’t stop
    They pile up the points until they reach the top
    Pull together till the Grey Cup’s won
    • Canadian university football also has them. Queen's University in Ontario has the most famous one, with the unlikely title of "Oil Thigh", set to the melody of "Battle Hymn of the Republic", with verses mentioning other Canadian universities by name, and a chorus in very loosely-rendered Scots Gaelic.
      Oilthigh na Banrighinn a' Bhanrighinn gu bràth! (Queen's University forever!)note 
      Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! Cha ghèill! (No surrender! No surrender! No surrender!)

Western Animation

  • American Dad! gives us:
    Roger: Dartmouth fight song!
    Roger: Dartmouth fight song!
    Roger: Those words probably aren't right, but I've got a fifty/fifty shot the tune's dead on.
  • A medley of "On, Wisconsin" (the University of Wisconsin's fight song) and "Fight On" (the University of Southern California's fight song) can be heard in Disney's Robin Hood (1973) during a scene in which Lady Kluck is plowing through Prince John's guards on her way to the forest in a method very reminiscent of a linebacker charging for the goal.
  • In an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle, we get the Wassamatta U Fight Song:
    Wassamatta, hats off to you!
    To our colors, ochre and Alice blue!
    We will e'er be faithful and true!
    Hail, Wassamatta, hail!
    Better we should be in jail!
    Hey, Wassamatta U!