SoonerSports.com  Oklahoma Tradition
Fight Songs
 
  Boomer Sooner

In 1905, Arthur M. Alden, a student in history and physiology whose father was a Norman jeweler, wrote the lyrics to the fight song, borrowing the tune from Yale University's Boola Boola but improvising the words.
 
A year later, an addition was made to it from North Carolina's I'm a Tarheel Born and the two combined to form the university's fight song today. One of the most recognizable college fight songs in the country, Boomer Sooner immediately evokes enthusiasm from OU fans and sends chills down the spines of those who dare to oppose them.

Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, Boomer Sooner
Boomer Sooner, OK U!
 
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, OK U!
 
I'm a Sooner born and Sooner bred
and when I die, I'll be Sooner dead
Rah Oklahoma, Rah Oklahoma
Rah Oklahoma, OK U!

 
All-Access Audio Boomer Sooner (with intro)
All-Access Audio Boomer Sooner (without intro)
All-Access Audio Boomer Sooner (older)
 
  O.K. Oklahoma

Although heard at every Sooner football game, O.K. Oklahoma is perhaps the least familiar of all OU fight songs. Unlike Oklahoma, it didn't come from a popular song, and unlike Boomer Sooner itself, it wasn't created from existing songs.
 
Fred Waring (the same man who financed and promoted the blender named after him) was one of the most popular bandleaders of the early 20th century. His group, known as "Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians" (or "Fred Waring and the Singing Pennsylvanians") had best-selling records and top-rated radio programs of the day for various sponsors, including Ford, General Electric, and a few cigarette companies.
 
In 1939, Waring's show was on the NBC Red Radio Network, one of two owned by NBC's parent company, RCA. (In 1943, under FCC orders to break up a broadcasting monopoly, NBC sold its other network, the "Blue" network, to Edward J. Noble. It eventually became ABC.) As was the habit in those days, the program was named after its sponsor, so it wasn't the "Fred Waring" show, it was the "Chesterfield Hour."
 
As part of a promotion, Waring would compose a new fight song for any college or university whose students or faculty submitted enough signatures on a petition. The University of Oklahoma students rose to the challenge in 1939, and in response, Waring composed the music and lyrics to a new song, O.K. Oklahoma.
 
O.K. Oklahoma premiered in a live broadcast on December 1, 1939. Since then it has continued to be a part of Oklahoma football games. Today, it is played as the football team scores extra points after a touchdown and the Sooner Schooner rolls onto the field. The following is the original first verse of the song:
 
O.K. Oklahoma, K.O. the foe today.
We say O.K. Oklahoma, the Sooners know the way. 'Ray!
S double-O-N-E-R-S! We'll win today or miss our guess.
O.K. Oklahoma, K.O. the foe today.
 
Somewhere through the years, this verse that begins with the song's name was dropped from the Pride of Oklahoma's playlist. The current arrangement, made by world-renowned composer and arranger John Higgins at the request of then-new band director Gene Thrailkill in the early 1970s, does not even contain music for the verse. (Pride Alumni who remember starting at rehearsal letter "A" are only skipping a Higgins-composed introduction.)
 
Higgins' arrangement is at least the third performed by University Bands on a regular basis - after the song premiered on the NBC Radio network, director William Wehrend wrote to Waring asking for the arrangement, promising that in return, the bandsmen pledged to smoke only Chesterfields!
 
We'll march down the field with our heads held high,
Determined to win any battle we're in,
We'll fight with all our might for the Red and White.
 
March on, march on down the field for a victory is nigh.
You know we came to win the game for Oklahoma,
And so we will or know the reason why!
 
We'll march down the field with our heads held high,
With ev'ry resource we'll hold to the course,
And pledge our heart and soul to reach the goal.
 
March on, march on down the field as we sing the battle cry.
Dig in and fight for the Red and White of Oklahoma,
So we'll take home a victory or die!
 
All-Access Audio O.K. Oklahoma! (modern)
All-Access Audio O.K. Oklahoma! (1939 original)
 

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  Oklahoma!

The Pride of Oklahoma proudly plays perhaps the most popular and recognizable state song in history. Oklahoma! is the final rousing chorus of Rodgers and Hammerstein's epic musical.
 
Breaking all Broadway box office records when it opened in 1943, Oklahoma! was the first collaboration between the legendary pair who were awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their seminal work.

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain
And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet
When the wind comes right behind the rain.
 
Oklahoma, Ev'ry night my honey lamb and I
Sit alone and talk and watch a hawk
Makin' lazy circles in the sky.
 
We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!
And when we say:
Ee-ee-ow! A-yip-i-o-ee-ay!
We're only sayin',
You're doin' fine, Oklahoma!
Oklahoma, O-K!

 
All-Access Audio Oklahoma! (with intro)
All-Access Audio Oklahoma! (without intro)
 
  The OU Chant

Every fan who wears the official colors, each current student and student-athlete and all OU alumni are encouraged to stand and raise one finger in the air during the playing of the Chant -- a symbolic gesture that shows the greatness of the university and the unity between all Sooners. The Chant was written in 1936 by Jessie Lone Clarkson Gilkey, who directed the OU girl's glee club from 1936 to 1938 and was voted Outstanding Faculty Woman in 1937.
 
O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A
Our chant rolls on and on!
Thousands strong
Join heart and song
In alma mater's praise
Of campus beautiful by day and night
Of colors proudly gleaming Red and White
'Neath a western sky
OU's chant will never die.
Live on University!

 
All-Access Audio The OU Chant
 
  The Yell

In the fall of 1895, the first football game and first oratorical contest were held. It became necessary to formulate a yell. A number of University students formerly from Southwest Kansas College at Winfield, and members of the Sigma Nu fraternity suggested the original yell. Because it was hard to yell continuously and some felt it should be patterned after the Kansas yell, which would be short, appropriate and easy to give, a different version was presented and adopted.
 
Hi rickety whoop-te-do
Boomer Sooner, Okla-U!,
Hi rickety whoop-te-do
Boomer Sooner, Okla-U!
 
All-Access Audio Hi Rickety Whoop-te-do (The Yell)

 
Disclaimer: These recordings are copyrighted by the University of Oklahoma. Commercial use of these recordings without permission from the University of Oklahoma is strictly prohibited.