Who Wrote Michigan’s Fight Song ‘The Victors’?

    The Victors is the most famous fight song in college football and is recognizable all over the world. Find out who wrote this famous song.

    The Victors is arguably the most famous fight song in college football. As the fight song of the Michigan Wolverines, the song is famous worldwide and has cultural significance both in America and abroad.

    It was written over 120 years ago, and the rousing anthem still rings around Michigan Stadium and any other stadium across the country whenever Michigan is in town. The famous song goes down in history as one of the all-time greats, but where did the fight song originate?

    Who Is Louis Elbel?

    Michigan’s fight song, The Victors, was written by Louis Elbel in 1898, while he was a music student in Ann Arbor.

    The song was written after Michigan clinched its first-ever conference championship with a 12-11 victory over the University of Chicago in 1898. Fans left the stands, flooding into the streets of Chicago, singing songs and celebrating.

    At that time, Michigan didn’t have an official fight song, but “There’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” was seen as an unofficial anthem among supporters.

    It led Elbel to write The Victors on his way home from the game, where he opted for a military march style as he felt Michigan’s previous fight song wasn’t dignified enough.

    As reported by The Ann Arbor News, Elbel said that the victory over their nearest rivals needed to be “dignified by something more elevating for this was no ordinary victory.”

    The Michigan Wolverines’ fight song, The Victors, was first performed in 1899 during a music event on campus, before being performed by John Philip Sousa, known as March King, the leader of the United States Marine Band.

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    Being played all over the world, many deem The Victors to be the greatest ever fight song. It is recognizable across the globe, and it was even used during World War I by both the French and the Germans.

    It is now performed by The Michigan Marching Band which is one of the most iconic and biggest marching bands in college football.

    What Are the Lyrics to The Victors?

    Now for a cheer they are here, triumphant!
    Here they come with banners flying,
    In stalwart step they’re nighing,
    With shouts of vict’ry crying,
    We hurrah, hurrah, we greet you now,
    Hail!

    Far we their praises sing
    For the glory and fame they’ve bro’t us
    Loud let the bells them ring
    For here they come with banners flying
    Far we their praises tell
    For the glory and fame they’ve bro’t us
    Loud let the bells them ring
    For here they come with banners flying
    Here they come, Hurrah!

    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan
    the leaders and best
    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
    the champions of the West!

    We cheer them again
    We cheer and cheer again
    For Michigan, we cheer for Michigan
    We cheer with might and main
    We cheer, cheer, cheer
    With might and main we cheer!

    Hail! to the victors valiant
    Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes
    Hail! Hail! to Michigan,
    the champions of the West!

    (Courtesy of Michigan Univesity Athletics)

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