A self-made fight song expert says the U.S. Navy's "Anchor's Aweigh" is only the fifth-most inspiring song of its kind, but Navy officials say they're glad of one thing: They beat Army.
Bill Studwell, a librarian at Northern Illinois University, spent more than a month listening to recorded songs and watching football games to compile his list of the 13 most inspiring fight songs in the country.The winners, chosen from a pool of 30 to 40 songs, were graded on musical quality, lyrics and overall tone. Notre Dame's came in first.
The librarian ranked "Anchors Aweigh" fifth - even though he describes himself as an avid Navy fan and an uncle of an academy graduate. Alas, he said, the school's fight song was not as inspiring as others.
"`Anchors Aweigh' is not as great as others at killing the opposition," he said. "It has almost a waltz beat to it, like a destroyer going up and down the ocean."
Naval Academy officials said they were happy the song ranked so high, but they were even happier that the Army's fight song didn't make the list at all.
"We are very very proud to see we weighed in before Army," said Lt. Cmdr. Mike John, a public affairs officer. "Outstanding."
"Anchors Aweigh" was written in 1907 by a bandmaster assigned to the Naval Academy. A midshipman wrote the lyrics. It was first sung at the 1907 Army-Navy game, John said.
Topping the list was Notre Dame's "Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame" followed by the University of Michigan's "The Victors," the University of Wisconsin's "On Wisconsin" and Yale University's "Down the Field."
The University of Maine's "Stein Song" tied with "Anchors Aweigh" for fifth place.
Other songs ranked were:
7. University of Southern California's "Fight On, USC."
8. Georgia Tech's "Ramblin' Wreck From Georgia Tech."
9. University of Texas' "The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You."
10. Ohio State University's "Across the Field."
11. University of Illinois' "The Pride of Illini."
12. Indiana University's "Indiana, Our Indiana."
13. University of Oklahoma's "Boomer Sooner."