Things that happened in in 1846. The Liberty Bell was cracked. The Mexican-American war started. Buffalo Bill Cody was born. Iowa becomes the 29th state in the union. The sewing machine was invented. The University of Notre Dame starts the Band of The Fighting Irish, 15 years before the start of the American Civil War and 41 years before the first ND football game. This band is old. The marching band is just as much of a staple to Notre Dame as the football team, if not more. Football and marching bands go hand and hand as the marching band has been at every single home game in ND’s history. They are there to stir the crowd and encourage the players. One particular song does this better than any others…
The Victory March is by far the most superior song played by the marching band. This song is designed to fire up the crowd and it does just that. We have to give props to the Shea brothers, two Notre Dame grads. Michael and John Shea wrote the music and lyrics to the song in 1908. The story goes that first time the song was ever play was by Michael at his church in Holyoke Massachusetts. The first time it was played at Notre Dame was in 1909 on Easter Sunday. Therefore if its good enough to be played in a church and on Easter Sunday, then it has to be the best song played in Notre Dame stadium.
The Shea brothers wrote this song as a temporary “fight song”. They had the idea that this would be a placeholder until the students could write something better. In fact, Michael Shea, who studied music in Rome, wrote a new version of the song in 1922. He presented it to the university and it was played at homecoming that year but the students were already attached to the original version. The new version never caught on. It just shows the power of the original song and what it means to Notre Dame fans. The song was voted as the most recognizable fight song by someone smart. He was a dude that went to Northern Illinois so he is definitely impartial.
The song also appears almost everywhere around the world and in our daily lives. Here is a list of things that play the Victory March.
- The band
- Cd’s and DVD’s
- Bottle openers
- Dropkick Murphy’s
- Cell Phones (How many readers have this as their ringtone now?)
- Stuffed animals when squeezed just right
- The Sydney Swans and Port Adelaide Magpies, Australian Rules Football (different lyrics, same tune)
- Canadian high schools ?!?!
- The Simpsons
These are all reasons why the Victory March has to be bands greatest song ever.
– 99 days until kickoff.