Top 15 fight songs.

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Not a coincidence that the four members of the two best rivalries have the the four best fight songs in the Kanick Fight Song Ratings.

Well, now that I’m on a self-hosted site and can finish off this project with some good audio tools.  Thank you SoundCloud.

And with The Year of Indifference toward the Browns building to a full-throated ennui, a fight song countdown to herald November college football is most timely indeed.

I started out trying to do a top 20 fight songs and fifteen turned out to be a better number. The truth is: I don’t know enough fight songs to give you a solid list where I know all the songs and am really discerning. I just like these songs and they speak college football to me. And I think the college football marching band is all you need.

I DO NOT GET THE AC/DC HELLS BELLS ON THIRD DOWNS AT THE SHOE.  OR PRE-GAME!! Like… you have ‘the best damn band in the land’ right there and they really are the best damn band in the land. Why go with AC/DC and the post Bon Scott AC/DC at that?

I was, at least, discerning enough to where to box some songs I don’t like (Boomer Sooner) and just because I’ve heard the song doesn’t make it great (Navy, Georgia Tech). Fight On isn’t on the list because man… a lot of people hate that song. Troll song can’t be on list. There were a few honorable mentions that I listened to and kinda liked:  Kansas, Wazzu, Clemson, Penn State, Nebraska, LSU, Michigan State, Miami.  (KU, Sparty, and da U laid copyright claims on me so eff em.)

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Five buffer songs.

Before the Fight Songs, there’s a whole other category worthy of note.  Those songs that play in the background while teams are huddled up or maybe you hear the band finishing up one of these coming out of commercial.

This god-damn Go Gators cheer just refused to go away and now he’s a familiar and dependable neighbor rattling around in his garage across the street except that his garage is in my Hippocampus.

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There are a bunch of Bama choices here and we didn’t get into Rammer Jammer.  Roll Tide Roll is also simple, effective, and yes you’ve heard it several [hundred] times.  Ditto Go Bama Go.

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I’ve always liked this snappy tune from Arkansas and their fans always get fired up by it.

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Of course …

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…but, Michigan wins this battle.  Let’s Go Blue is a the gold standard of buffer songs and even though many have tried, no band gets it right like Michigan’s does.
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15 Fight Songs.

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Here’s an interesting gleeclub/Xmaslights version.  But if you work hard with it, the embed to right gives you a flavor of how remarkably awesome this song works when at Michie Stadium.  This one sounds a lot, I mean A LOT, better in person.

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Love and Honor?  Yes it is my alma mater and that’s why I know it at all, but I think it stacks up pretty well with any of these on the list.

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I almost didn’t include On Wisconsin under the same four measures over and over rule, but there’s a reason it’s so catchy and the Wiscy band sells it hard.  Well done; a classic.

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Maybe it’s the opening scale run.  This screams ‘time for college football’ to me.
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The reason no one takes the Falcons seriously is because Atlanta is UGA territory.  Not Georgia Tech and, I know, good luck finding a honest-to-God oldie-timey Atlantan.  But if you do, I bet he’s sending his kids to Athens.

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My old boss and friend down in Frisco is an Austin grad; his wife is an Aggie.  Neither one of them pay much attention to football or say things like Gig Em or Hook Em.  True story.

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The best fight song in the MAC.  Here’s the BGSU band performing it at a Skull Session in St. John’s.  I’m all kinds of fired up for the BGSU/Toledo game.

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Really can’t do a fight song list without Texas.  I’m guessing that Texas will be Alabama in five years and the only question is which of about ten qualified coaches will they pick to get them there.

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To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the song; am of the tradition …

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… but I am a big fan of this one.  Apparently this one of two fight songs Cal used into the 50s and somehow UCLA grabbed it.  It’s quite terrific and so much better than Fight On.  I was going to put Fight On on this list but people hate it the same way I hate Boomer Sooner.

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Top Five.

I’ve had Rocky Top as high as #2 as I’ve been looking at this list.  Solid top 5 here.  Great song in a great stadium.  Good luck with that this weekend though…

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To be honest I wasn’t going to rank The Victors this high until I saw the live version embedded to the right.  It’s pretty got damned special.

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This song has everything from lyrics calling out rivals to a great fanfare to just a catchy catchy melody.  I considered them as a #1 and it was always a pretty solid #2 but…

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… War Damn Eagle just starting growing on me after seeing Magnum Groves leading the Auburn band post 2007 Iron Bowl.  Got me thinking about their fight song and War Eagle is my favorite non BBC fight song at this moment.

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The BBC.  Fight the Team is good, and I’d love to hear more Le Reg.  But there is no better college football experience than the OSU ramp entrance to that cadence and then the Buckeye Battle Cry.  You’ll never convince me different.
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What did I miss?

[Many thanks to http://fightmusic.com/ who are the main source for the music linked.]

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  • mgbode

    as incredibly cheesy as the song and melody are, you cannot have a college football fight son list without an Anchor’s Away mention. it is college football.

    Penn State and Washington fight songs would also make my list.

    • kanick

      PSU I looked at.. I loved the band entrance but need to study the song more. Washington I did _not_ listen to but Wazzu’s I did and kinda liked. You’re right I did ding Navy for cheezy-ness as I did Air Force (Off We Go.. I associate it with the Goldwater campaign) while I bumped Army because I saw it in person. Admittedly this is not science. 😉

  • Petefranklin

    Auburn? Without fight on? Remember the annual late November Saturday featuring the Big 10 (OSU/Meechigan) and Pac 8 (USC/UCLA)championships? The bands were a huge part of those games, and ABC wired the microphones very well for an in stadium experience while watching at home.I don’t know how you could leave one out.I did see the Browns play the Raiders in LA with the USC band playing to a slight smattering of boos. This was before the Pete Carrol era for the Trojans though.

    • So it turns out Fight On might be the most loathed fight song there is. As for me, I give the USC band full marks but Fight On does kinda repeat. Not as bad Boomer Sooner, but still.

      As for Auburn, get ready for a lot of War Eagle after they shock the world and beat Bama this year.

  • rodofdisaster

    Personally, I think most of these are good and as to which is the best, I would just offer that if you went to one of these schools it probably raises that one above all others. I can’t think of anyone that I know who doesn’t love his or her school’s fight song. It’s the song that plays as you watch your team longing for them to send your rival packing and their fans crying.

    “Texas Fight” before the game always got my heart rate up and I will tell you that personally witnessing the “Eyes of Texas” at the conclusion of the 2006 BCS Championship brought tears to many an eye.

    There is another song associated with the Showband of The Southwest (aka, the Longhorn Marching Band). It’s “Wabash Cannonball” that is played at the end of the third quarter of all home games. “Why?” you might ask; the band director found out it was a favorite of Coach Darrell Royal’s and it stayed. If the Horns are winning at this point usually the fans are in a good mood to dance around to this…

    http://youtu.be/DOd6WLzR-kg

    • acto

      Rod’o, I love “The Wabash Cannonball”, but if you will notice sir, “The Eyes of Texas” is just “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”.
      It is not a negative reflection on you if your school song is not the best, or even striving to be blatantly mediocre.
      Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State songs make our school song sound silly.
      I certainly do not wish to offend you again Rod’o, so if you are at DKR and you hear some chump in a booming basso profundo singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”, I shall take no offense if you punch me in the face.

      • mgbode

        yes, it is a bit annoying. my first time at DKR I hadn’t heard the song before and it was really pumped up by my friends. it starts playing and I literally started uncontrollably laughing thinking they were playing some sort of prank (like it was a song they played before the real one).

        for the list above, I wouldn’t put the Aggie War Hymn on it either. I mean, it’s one thing to get a couple good ribbings in during your fight song to your main rival. It’s quite another to have the entire song show-off your inferiority complex.

  • trashycamaro

    I have the distinct honor to have attended 3 of the schools listed above – Michigan, Florida, Alabama. Have to say Victors has to be above anything from Alabama (and OSU as well, but I am pretty sure we’re just gonna have to disagree on that part).

  • acto

    jk,
    I always enjoyed sitting in the student section at Texas while I was an official Texas inmate and singing “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”. (I received many threats, but usually the farther people were away from me the more brave they were.) “The Eyes of Texas” is terrible!! They just ripped off another song and put moronic words to it.
    I loved Rice’s MOB! A few days after Reveille died they started their performance with “Oh Where, Oh Where has My Little Dog Gone”.
    I wish that you had included one High School fight song. I did not go to Parma High, but they had the greatest fight song ever. I do not remember all of the words, but it started:
    “Ooo sah sah sah
    Ooo sah sah sah
    Hit’em in the head
    with a big Kolbasa!”

  • CLEinMPLS

    This is great, Kanick.