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Varsity Blue

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The Yellow and Blue

No, the title of this post is not my attempt to suggest that the official names of the school colors be changed. It's a reference to the Alma Mater (no wonder you were confused). My concern with the alma mater is its lack of presence pretty much anywhere. I've never even heard the song, except when I made the active attempt to search for it online. Here it is as sung by the Glee Club (real audio).

Now, where is my gripe coming from? It has long been a college football tradition that, win or lose (but mostly win), the school's alma mater is played at the end of the game. This is something that, for some reason, doesn't happen at this fine institution. When I e-mailed the directors of the marching band about it, they responded that the song is played at the end of the band's postgame show.

To me, this is not acceptable for a variety of reasons.
  1. First, as I have already stated, is that it is tradition to play upon the conclusion of the game.
  2. Second, is the fact that everyone leaves the stadium after the game, except after a big win, when they celebrate with the players. This delays the start of the postgame show, so an equally low number of people hear the song.
  3. One of my biggest complaints about the lack of playing the alma mater is the fact that it has the potential to provide so many cool moments. Michigan is missing out on these because the alma mater isn't properly utilized.
Think of some of the greatest recent postgame images in college football. Most include the alma mater being played/sung. For example, after the 2004 OSU/UM game, the Ohio State fans stormed the field and stomped on roses. While everyone in the middle of the field celebrated, the marching band began playing "Carmen Ohio," which created a really magical moment. And how many times this season did we see Matt Leinart conducting the USC marching band in their alma mater? I'm sure USC fans would say one time too few, but still, every time I saw it, I thought it was one of the coolest things going on. And then there's the most recent, with the Texas linebacker pumping his fist with the student section, as the Texas alma mater played through a rain of confetti.

To my knowledge, pretty much nobody (at least in the student body) even knows the words to "The Yellow and Blue." This can be pretty easily changed, as well. The words to the song (and most other official UM songs) can be found here. In addition, copyright-free sheet music is located in the UM Library's music collection. When I was but a young boy, I went to a Notre Dame football game, and still have the souvenir cup with the words to "Our Mother, Notre Dame" emblazoned on the side. How hard would it be to do something like this?

It's not like I'm asking multiple verses to be played or anything, but to not hear the alma mater at all upon the conclusion of the game, to me, is simply not right.

“The Yellow and Blue”

  1. Blogger James Says:

    I agree -- I didn't really learn the alma mater until after I graduated. A real shame.