Friday, May 09, 2008

The Dardanelles

The University of Washington is offering $1,000 and a place in history to someone who can come up with a new school anthem.

The alma mater, or anthem is different of course than the fight song which also has a few oblique references that many people have trouble referring to today.

"I think most people know the very beginning, 'Bow Down to Washington,' but after that it becomes a lot of 'Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon,' " McDavid said. "Most students today don't know what the Dardanelles are."

I can understand what McDavid is saying, but why adjust it every twenty years so it is more relative with the times? Why not take the time to explain the nature of the fight song and the history behind it to incoming students each year?

As for the Alma Mater a catchy new tune by Bill Conti is just fine since the old Alma Mater or Anthem really never has caught on.

Whatever you do, don't ever touch Bow Down to Washington!

As my wife who went to Boston College says....Bow Down to Washington sound sounds like this.

We're coming to kick your ass......we're coming to kick your ass!

I like the ring of that.

A friend of mine who went to Michigan said that Bow Down to Washington was the most condescending fight song he had ever heard.

I like that too, because we're coming to kick you ass, or at least we did till 2001.

Bow Down To Washington

Bow down to Washington,
Bow down to Washington,
Mighty are the men
Who wear the purple and the gold,
Joyfully we welcome them
Within the victors fold.
We will carve their names (names!)
In the Hall of Fame (fame!)
To preserve the memory of our devotion.
So heaven help the foes of Washington;
They're trembling at the feet
Of mighty Washington,
Our boys are there with bells (bells!),
Their fighting blood excels (excels!),
It's harder to push them over the line
Than pass the Dardanelles.
So victory's the cry of Washington
Our leather lungs together
With a Rah! Rah! Rah!
And o'er the land
The loyal band
Will sing the glory
Of Washington forever.

In recent years, some fans have been heard replacing "with a rah! rah! rah!" with "with a 'F*ck Wazzu!'"--a jab at UW's biggest rival, Washington State University. It is also common to replace the line "It's harder to push them over the line than pass the Dardanelles" with "If you don't go to Washington, then you can go to hell."

The original words to Bow Down to Washington included "Dobie, Dobie, pride of Washington! They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington!” in respect of the football head coach Gil Dobie.

1 comment:

Greg O'Byrne said...

We were required to memorize it in my fraternity. My Fraternity Brothers to this day, sing it after each and every touchdown. (IMHO, a resounding endorsement for greek system)

Awesome fight song because there isn't another one like it.