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Big Red Traditions: Indiana, Our Indiana

Learning a little more about the fight song, and how good it sounds when pairing with a bunch of flags.


Indiana, Our Indiana

Played before (and usually during) every home football and basketball game, IOI was first performed in 1912 during a football game against Northwestern by the IU Band, under the direction of student bandleader Russell P. Harker, who wrote the words for the song. The melody is "The Viking March", by Karl King, who would go on to conduct the Barnum and Bailey Circus Band. Harker himself would go on to be the lieutenant governor of Indiana just over a decade later. The lyrics Harper penned have stood the test of time, though a large number of the undergrad population in a given year knows only part or none of the words.

For football, the song is traditionally part of the IU Fanfare that the Marching Hundred plays when taking the field. It is also played after Indiana scores, and between the 3rd and 4th quarter as part of a recent adaption of IU basketball's under-eight timeout tradition.

Speaking of that tradition, let me introduce (or hopefully reintroduce) you to the greatest timeout in college basketball, or as it's more commonly known, FFFLLLAAAGGGSSS!!!

The band plays the William Tell Overture as cheerleaders (and occasionally some special guests) run flags up, down, and all around McCracken Court. Then, they transition into IOI, but the first time through sees the band singing along instead of playing along. After finishing the first run-through, they return to their instruments as the rest of the arena continues clapping along, and upon reaching the last two lines of the song, the crowd finishes singing the song as normal. It's one of the best parts of any IU game, other than winning, of course.

Hopefully, I've entertained you, educated you, or both, with this look into the IU fight song, as opposed to IU Fight, which I may write about next week. And now, I leave you with the words that by now you should know very well.

Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!
We will fight for the cream and crimson,
For the glory of old IU
Never daunted, we cannot falter
In the battle, we're tried and true
Indiana, Our Indiana,
Indiana, we're all for you!