Don't Forget the Fight Songs: "Hail to Georgia"

In a recent FanPost, Dawgb1 asked a reasonable question: "When did we stop singing the lyrics to ‘Hail to Georgia?’ and become content with it being an instrumental?"

That’s a fair thing for a fan to ask of an institution as steeped in tradition as ours. Inasmuch as we all hope 2008 will be an historic year for the Bulldogs, it seems only fair that we should kick it off by being historical, in the way Dawgb1 has suggested.

A few years ago, some friends of mine bought me a 1943 pamphlet from the University of Georgia Press entitled "Georgia Songs and Yells," which contains the lyrics and the sheet music to our traditional fight songs.

Dawgb1 makes a great point and, unfortunately, not everyone received as good an upbringing as NCT, who was taught Georgia fight songs as a youngster. Hey, it’s an open-air stadium; if everybody in the appropriate age demographic can crank dat Soulja Boy when the music (sans lyrics) is piped through the loudspeakers, surely we can decide, one by one, to sing along with our traditional fight songs when we hear them played by the Redcoats, right?

It seems to me that Dawgb1 has had (to paraphrase a much lesser, and frankly rather pathetic, fight song) a hell of a, hell of a, hell of a, hell of a, hell of a good idea. Therefore, for the benefit of those who do not know the lyrics, here is "Hail to Georgia," the 1931 anthem penned by Gaines W. Walter (Class of 1915):

Hail to Georgia down in Dixie!
A college honor’d, fair, and true;
The Red and Black is her standard, proudly it waves,
Streaming today and the ages through.
She’s the fairest in the Southland
We’ll pledge our love to her for aye;
To that college dear we’ll ring a cheer,
All hail to dear old UGA!

Hail, our Varsity of Georgia!
Thy sons will e’er thy glory sing;
To thee we’ll ever be faithful, loyal and true;
Ever and aye will thy praises ring.
Grand old times of ours at Georgia
The happiest days they’ll be alway;
Alma Mater, fair beyond compare,
All hail to dear old UGA!

Copyright 1931 by Gaines W. Walter, Atlanta, Ga. All rights reserved, including arranging, adaptation, recording, and public performance for profit.

Everyone should be more like NCT and sing Georgia fight songs in the shower. (Actually, everyone ought to be more like NCT in any number of ways, but that happens to be our point of emphasis at the moment.)

It’s almost football season, people; it’s time to start getting in shape. Practice your barking, rehearse the singing of our fight songs, and, in general, prepare yourselves to get on your feet and make some Sanford Stadium noise for your No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

Is it football season yet?

Go ‘Dawgs!

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