The Wisconsin Band

Badger Songs And Lyrics

 

 

ON WISCONSIN

"On Wisconsin" is not only the University "fight song," but it has also been designated as the official State Song of Wisconsin. It is undoubtedly one of the most popular school songs in the country and has been adopted by thousands of high school bands as their own. It is rare to attend a high school football game anywhere in the U.S. and not hear "On Wisconsin" being performed by at least one of the school bands. The melody of this famous song was composed in 1909 by W.T. Purdy, a corporation clerk who prior to that time had never set foot in Wisconsin. The words were supplied by Carl Beck, a former University of Wisconsin student. These two young men in one day produced the song that John Philip Sousa called "the finest of college marching songs." Traditions such as this make Wisconsin a personal university to faculty, students, and alumni everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

On, Wisconsin!

On, Wisconsin!

Plunge right through that line!

Run the ball clear down the field,

A touchdown sure this time.

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!

 

VARSITY

For nearly a century this song of praise (originally a Latin Hymn written by the famous French operatic composer, Charles Gounod) has held a special place in the hearts of Wisconsin students, fans, and alumni. It was in 1898 that Henry Dyke Sleeper, a young instructor in the University's School of Music, arranged the music, provided words, and published the new version of the song he called "Varsity Toast." Today it is impossible to attend an official university function without hearing those simple but stirring strains. In 1934 Wisconsin Band Director, Ray Dvorak, introduced the now famous "arm swinging" which has made performance of this alma mater one of the most thrilling "sights" as well as sounds to be found in any stadium in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Varsity!  Varsity!

U-rah-rah!  Wisconsin,

Praise to thee we sing!

Praise to thee, our Alma Mater,

U-rah-rah!  Wisconsin!

IF YOU WANT TO BE A BADGER

This catchy song was introduced to the Wisconsin campus by Professor Julian Olson, one of the most colorful faculty characters in the university's history. In 1919 while planning an alumni dinner he wrote the words to what was then called "The Badger Ballad" and had the words set to music by Charles Mills, then Director of the School of Music. Countless verses have been added since that time, and it remains a favorite song at informal Badger gatherings. The UW Band traditionally closes each pregame performance with this sprightly melody.

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to be a Badger,

Just come along with me,

By the bright shining light,

By the light of the moon;

If you want to be a Badger,

Just come along with me,

By the bright shining light of the moon.

 

By the light of the moon,

By the light of the moon,

By the bright shining light,

By the light of the moon.

If you want to be a Badger,

Just come along with me,

By the light of the moon.

 

YOU'VE SAID IT ALL

More commonly known as "Bud", this is the newest addition to the musical traditions of Wisconsin. The song was first performed for university functions by the Varsity Band during the hockey season of 1972, but it was at the NCAA Championship in 1973 that the tune received its first great popular acceptance as it was played by the Band in the Boston Garden, in hotel lobbies, and in the streets of historic Boston. From that time on the song has become a phenomenon at all athletic contests ... at alumni events ... and even at commencement exercises. (And although it causes the upper deck to "sway," it is bound to keep echoing in Camp Randall with great regularity.) Why has it caught on so universally throughout the state? No one can answer except to suggest, "When You Say WIS-CON-SIN, You've Said It All!"

 

 

CHEER, BOYS, CHEER  (HOT TIME)

This well known melody, which had great popularity at the turn of the century, was written in 1896 by Theodore M. Metz and was later given a UW flavor by Philip Allen, who graduated from the University in 1899 with a law degree.  "Hot Time" (Cheer, Boys, Cheer!) is now traditionally used by the Wisconsin Band as a "fire-up song" which was played immediately before the kick-off at a football game...the tip-off in basketball...and the face-off at each hockey match.  In Camp Randall it is still used to signal a Badger touchdown and is followed immediately by On, Wisconsin after the extra point has been attempted. 

 

 

 

Cheer, boys, cheer!

Wisconsin's got the ball.

U-rah-rah

Oh, won't they take a fall?

For when we hit their line,

They'll have no line at all.

There'll be a hot time

At Wisconsin tonight.

 

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