COUNTDOWN TO SHOWDOWN
In the 25 days leading up to college football's championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the Chattanooga Times Free Press is counting down the traditions and memorable moments involving the Irish and the Crimson Tide. Today is No. 12.
The most recognized fight song in college sports, the "Notre Dame Victory March," has been around for more than a century.
Written by two brothers who were Notre Dame graduates, Michael and John Shea, the song was copyrighted in 1908. That same year, a piano version complete with lyrics was published.
Notre Dame's fight song was performed by the university band for the first time on Easter Sunday in 1909 in the rotunda of the university's administrative building. It was first heard at a Notre Dame athletic event in 1919 and first appeared under the copyright of Notre Dame in 1928.
The most recited part of the fight song is as follows:
Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame,
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send a volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What though the odds be great or small,
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to victory.
In 1969, when college football celebrated its centennial, the "Notre Dame Victory March" was recognized as the greatest fight song. Among the other schools with popular fight songs are Michigan with "The Victors," Southern Cal with "Fight On" and Oklahoma with "Boomer Sooner."