Comments about ‘Amy Donaldson: 'Utah Man' can stay or go, but altering the lyrics shouldn't be an option’

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Published: Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:55 p.m. MDT

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Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

Here is my prediction: the sound of Utah Man in its appropriate spot will ring louder than normal for the next few years and the new words will n'er be spoken. Sometimes change makes the old all that much stronger. Think New Coke. Nice move ASUU, you have cemented the words for at least the next 5 years.
Go Cougars.

Genola, UT

At the rate the song has been sung of late, most people are bound to forget the words anyway.


Very nice points, Amy. While the MUSS has been building some fun fan traditions (Crazy Lady, 3rd Down Jump, the false start count, etc.), Utah Man is really the only long-standing fan tradition that the school has.

Back when I was in high school, I never really had any horse in the race between the U, BYU or USU, I liked watching them all succeed pretty equally. But when Utah football really started to pick back up in 2003, I loved seeing the zeal and unity that the players, band, cheerleaders and fans all showed when Utah Man played! I picked up any musical instrument I could find to play it for fun whenever I could. I never heard any complaints of it from fellow students or faculty while I studied and worked at the U. Now it is deemed "divisive," and changing words in it will only make it all the more divisive. I'd rather see them abandon it officially, start something new for this soft generation of students, and let the men and women proud to be a Utah Man embrace it on their own. Don't water it down. That's my take.

Salt Lake City, UT

How many of those that find the song offensive even attend football games?

Sparkley Briefs
New York, NY

If you find the lyrics to "Utah Man" offensive, it's probably best that you blindfold yourself, stick wax in your ears, and hide out in the basement encased in bubble wrap so that you won't injure yourself in any way.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Apparently the studentbody officers at U of U don't have anything of actual importance to spend their time on?

swoop alumnus

I am offended that this song is not sung in other languages. That seems offensive to me and very divisive. It will be a challenge to write a non gender specific multilanguage interpretation of this song. I think including a verse on swoop (gender?) is appropriate. I don't think that using Ute would be appropriate as tthere is a possibility of offending indiginous peopple. Utah ought to "pac"up and move to california to become socially correct.

Orem, UT

Calling Utah's fight song "art" that needs to be protected from censorship is a bit of a stretch.

The lyrics have already been changed at least once, so what's the big deal changing them again to reflect more enlightened cultural changes over the last century?

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Nice take Amy.

Would they also like to quit offending BYU fans?

Didn't think so...

Orem, UT

I love the group think that persists in the liberal mind. It is most often exhibited by using political correctness to attack those that have a different view. Fairness, inclusion and justice are code words used to make themselves feel superior to others. The lyrics of the song don't seem to be a pressing issue. I haven't even heard a big outcry, but Sam Ortiz has now made a name for himself in the liberal world. That was his goal. Congrats Sam, you have been attacked by those "crazy conservatives" in Utah. You will be welcomed in all the modern liberal salons with those bonafides. You will also make a great politician since you made controversy where there was none in order to be divisive.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA


We got plenty of chances to sing it when we played BYU.

St. Louis, MO


If you just read the article, she answers both of those things.

People know the song and recite it with emotion. While it doesn't prove literary genius, it is still art.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Well said Amy!!

Orem, UT


She didn't address why it was okay to change the song once, but not okay to change it twice.

Many things have changed over the years at the U, including the school name and nickname.

What makes the fight song so sacrosanct?

Lincoln Park, IL

As a conservative who hates political correctness, even I can see that this would be a good change. Not because it's "offensive", but because it's stupid. And yes, it is sexist. Something doesn't have to be offensive to be a clear case of sexism. The song being only sung from a male POV with the possessive idea that "our" women are hotter than "your" women really has no place.

Salt Lake City, UT

Is "rise and shout" discriminatory against people in wheel chairs? Honestly, where does PC start and stop? It's kinda like a cat chasing it's tail.

Salt Lake City, UT

Don't change the words; add an appropriate new verse. What's so hard about that? The song is not divisive. People are.

Provo, UT

The thing I find funny about the entire thing is that the current song boasts about how hot the Utah girls are. And that's apparently... a bad thing?

I mean, is it bad that you have pretty girls? What does the current female population of the U think about this--are they pretty or not?

The only thing I can conclude is that the Utah student council now believes that they do not have pretty girls on campus. As a Cougar fan, I will bow to their daily experience and take their word for it. I mean, I've seen pretty girls wearing Utah gear, but perhaps they aren't actual Utah girls?

Did the U used to have pretty girls but no longer?

It's all funny to me. Go ahead, remove the line about pretty girls! That would be far more insulting to the women at the University of Utah than leaving it in, in my opinion.

Murray, UT

Attn: MOST HIGH & HONORABLE PAC-12 LOVERS , Independent Football fans occasionally find enough VALUE & HUMOR in SPORTS articles to comment on them...in this case the notion that all who profess to be a UTAH MAN must relent that title, and hereafter refer to themselves as a UTAH FAN...

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I understand that a song written in 1904 by athletes who played football without a helmet has its charm, but let's not go overboard. "Utah Man" is not exactly the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Any song that rhymes "die" with "ki yi" is not a precious specimen of poetry we need to preserve for the ages. Even if you get past the obvious chauvinistic character of the song the other lyrics make little sense. Examples:

1. "I am a Utah Man, sir, and I live across the green"
The only thing that lies across "the green" is the west desert.

2. "Our gang it is the jolliest that you have ever seen"
We're going to be the first team to win a National Championship by being Jolly!

3. "We're up to snuff, we never bluff, we're game for any fuss. No other gang of college men dare meet us in a muss."

Freshman learn that MUSS stands for "Mighty Utah Student Section." Imagine their disillusionment when they learn it was only a lame attempt to find a word that rhymed with "fuss."

The lyrics of this song definitely need some help.

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