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80 Reasons to Love the Big Ten - No. 51 - On Wisconsin!

No. 51 - On Wisconsin!


Now comes the world's most famous fight song -- a blitzkrieg of brass and snare.  It goes by the name "On Wisconsin!"  As the University of Wisconsin Marching Band home on the web describes:

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...

John Philip Sousa has called On Wisconsin, "the finest of college marching songs." Traditions such as this make On Wisconsin a personal university to faculty, students, and alumni everywhere.

The lyrics?

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin!
Plunge right through that line!
Run the ball clear down the field,
(originally "Run the ball clear 'round Chicago"*)
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!

* Chicago, incidentally, is 149 miles from Madison.  Round trip, that adds up to 298 miles, or 524,480 yards.  Last season Wisconsin rushed for 2,745 yards.  At that rate, it'd take the Badgers 191 seasons to "Run the ball clear 'round Chicago."  No wonder they rush so much.

You can hear the tune here.  Careful, it's catchy.