UW Health Sports Medicine 

School Songs

"On, Wisconsin!"

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin
Plunge right through that line,
Run the ball clear down the field, boys
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 Audio
2:17 MP3

The tune was originally composed in 1909 by Chicago's William Purdy, and the words were written by Carl Beck. Purdy and Beck had been fraternity brothers at Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.) and were roommates in Chicago. Purdy was going to submit the song for a $100 prize the University of Minnesota was offering for a new football song. When Beck heard the music, he offered to write words and suggested that Purdy offer it to Wisconsin, where Beck had once studied. The song was an instant hit on campus and spread throughout the world. It was especially popular with military bands.

Some 2,500 schools and colleges have adopted the music and changed the words to suit their needs. "On, Wisconsin" was sung for the first time at the 1909 homecoming game vs. Minnesota.

The music was adapted by current Band Director Michael Leckrone in 1969. The original version had been played virtually unchanged since its inception. "I got a lot of flak for that," Leckrone said. "The old version was one you had to wait on. I wanted to generate immediate crowd reaction, so I stepped it up a bit."


Var-sity! Var-sity!
U-rah-rah! Wisconsin!
Praise to thee we sing
Praise to thee our Alma Mater
U-rah-rah, Wisconsin!
(Fanfare of trumpets, followed by:)
Our Team is RED HOT!
(two drum beats and repeat until hoarse)

Varsity Audio
2:03 MP3

The traditional arm-waving at the end of the song, "Varsity," was the 1934 brainstorm of band leader Ray Dvorak. He saw Pennsylvania students wave their caps after losing a game. Dvorak later instructed Wisconsin students to salute UW President Glenn Frank after each game.

"The Bud Song"

The Bud Song Audio
0:59 MP3

An integral part of any Wisconsin band performance is the playing of the Bud song. The tune is a spinoff of the song "Budweiser, Here Comes the King," a jingle with words and music originally written by Steve Karmen for Budweiser beer commercials. Copyrighted by Elsmere Music, Inc. in 1971, the song has become legendary at the University because of its polka-like rhythm. Band director Michael Leckrone said the song's popularity got started at a 1975 hockey game. "The crowd wanted to hear a polka," he said. "I didn't have any polkas. We had, just by accident, this beer commercial in the tunes we play. I told the band if we substituted the word Wisconsin' for Budweiser' it would work."

Leckrone said the song became a football tradition after a 1978 come-from-behind victory over Oregon. "Wisconsin was behind by three touchdowns, and the crowd was really dead. I played the song to get everyone pepped up. About 20 seconds after that, Wisconsin scored a touchdown. I played it again, and Wisconsin scored another touchdown. From then on, the band could never play enough Bud.'"

"If You Want to be a Badger"

If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
By the light, by the light, by the light of the moon.
If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
By the bright shining light of the moon.
By the light of the moon, by the light of the moon,
By the bright shining light, by the light of the moon.
If you want to be a Badger, just come along with me,
By the bright shining light of the moon.

If You Want to Be a Badger Audio
1:18 MP3

Football Single Game Tickets
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