Sons of Westwood

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"Sons of Westwood" is a fight song of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The tune comes from "Big C", a school fight song for the University of California, Berkeley.

Lyrics[edit]

When sung, usually at the end of a game, the UCLA Band plays the song the first time, followed by the UCLA 8-clap. The first two lines are sung in 3/4 time. The singers wrap arms around their neighbors' shoulders and sway in time to the music, somewhat in the manner of a German Schunkeln. After the "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!", the song concludes in 4/4 time.
We are Sons of Westwood,
and we hail Blue and Gold.

True to thee our hearts will be;
our love will not grow old.

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Bruins roam the hills of Westwood
By the blue Pacific shore.

And when we chance to see
a man from U. S. C.,
Ev'ry Bruin starts to ROAR!

History[edit]

"Big C"[edit]

"Big C" was composed in 1913 by Harold P. Williams, with lyrics by Norman Loyall McLaren. It was written to commemorate the construction of the large concrete "C" in 1905 on the "rugged Eastern foothills" of the Berkeley campus. The song was the winning entry in the Daily Californian school song competition in 1913.

Adoption by UCLA[edit]

From the late 1940s until the 1960s UCLA and Cal alternatively hosted a college football doubleheader game as part of the "All University Weekend". The first game featured UC Davis vs. UCSB. In one of the last "All U Weekends", Kelley James, then Associate Director of the UCLA Marching Band and alumnus of the Cal Band wrote an arrangement of "Big C" for a halftime show performed by the combined marching bands from UCLA, UC Davis, and Cal.[1] Afterwards, UCLA continued using James' arrangement of "Big C" as its fight song, adding their own lyrics and renaming it "Sons of Westwood". It was soon adopted as UCLA's fight song.

Controversy[edit]

Many Cal fans, most notably Cal Band director James Berdahl, were enraged over what they saw as James' theft of their song. A bitter exchange ensued between Berdahl and James for the next several years concerning the legal and ethical grounds for James' adaptation of the song. Finally, on February 18, 1969, UCLA lawyers were told by the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress that "Big C" had never been copyrighted, and therefore was in the public domain.[1] However, whenever Cal plays UCLA and "Sons of Westwood" is played, Cal fans sing a parody ending, "but damn you, it's 'Big C.'" Likewise, whenever Cal plays "Big C" UCLA plays their signature "tag" at the end, which is a part of "Sons of Westwood" but not "Big C".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FUN FINAL FOUR FACTS: UCLA BRUINS". ESPN The Magazine. Retrieved May 26, 2012. "UCLA's fight song, "Sons of Westwood," was organized by Kelley James to be performed by three marching bands at once: UCLA, UC-Davis, and Cal." 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]