The legendary Notre Dame Fighting Irish fight song is changing its lyrics from "while her loyal sons are marching" to include "daughters," the Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, announced.
The "Notre Dame Victory March" change comes on the 50th anniversary of the decision to admit undergraduate women to the storied university.
Also, the Notre Dame's Main Circle will be "re-imagined" to honor the profound impact women have had on the University.
"The success Notre Dame enjoys has been shaped by the extraordinary leadership and contributions of the women who have been and are a part of the Notre Dame community — beginning with the four Holy Cross sisters who arrived in the Indiana wilderness in 1843, to those who lead, teach, learn, minister and work here today," University President Rev. John Jenkins said June 2.
"On this occasion of the anniversary of the admission of undergraduate women in 1972, we celebrate the invaluable contributions of women as students and graduates. The re-imaging of the Main Circle will be a tribute at the heart of our campus to the ways in which these women have inspired, led and enriched us."
"Notre Dame Victory March" was written in 1908 by Rev. Michael Shea and his brother John.
Its chorus will now be:
"Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame.
Wake up the echoes cheering her name.
Send a volley cheer on high.
Shake down the thunder from the sky.
What though the odds be great or small,
Old Notre Dame will win over all.
While her loyal sons and daughters
March on to victory."
"It's probably the most recognized and performed of collegiate songs," Notre Dame band director and music professor Kenneth Dye said. "Its inspirational rhythm and tempo create an energy that encourages fans to clap along and enjoy the music."
Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell ranked the victory march No. 1 in his book "College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology" over the University of Michigan's 'The Victors.'"
"'Victory March' is more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more," according to Studwell. "Anybody who says that Notre Dame's isn't one of the top five songs is out of his gourd. That's like saying Shakespeare didn't know how to write."
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