Strike Up the Band (song)
"Strike Up the Band" is a 1927 song composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was written for the 1927 musical Strike Up the Band, where it formed part of a satire on war and militaristic music. Although the musical was not successful, the instrumental version of the song, titled the "March from Strike Up the Band", has become quite well known.
Let the drums roll out
Let the trumpet call
While the people shout
"Strike up the band"
Hear the cymbals ring
Callin' one and all
To the martial swing,
Strike up the band
There is work to be done, to be done
There's a war to be won, to be won
Come, you son of a son of a gun,
Take your stand
Fall in line, yea a bow
Come along, let's go
Hey, leader, strike up the band!
In 1936, UCLA students were looking for a new rally tune. George and Ira Gershwin had moved from New York to Beverly Hills to work in Los Angeles on the Fred Astaire movie Shall We Dance. Maxson Judell, a music industry contact, approached them about contributing a song to UCLA. The Gershwins made a gift of the song to the University of California, Los Angeles. Ira Gershwin revised the lyrics and called the new version "Strike Up the Band for UCLA." From that time, it became one of the primary school songs, and even served as the leitmotif and rally song for the school teams until Sons of Westwood and later Mighty Bruins became school songs. The UCLA Band currently plays an arrangement of "Strike Up the Band for UCLA" as part of each UCLA Bruins football pregame show and at home basketball games.
The George and Ira Gershwin Award is presented annually at UCLA during "Spring Sing" at Pauley Pavilion or at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on campus. Recipients have included Frank Sinatra, Clive Davis, Stevie Wonder, k.d. lang, James Taylor, Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, Burt Bacharach, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Julie Andrews and Brian Wilson.
- Bing Crosby - CBS Radio Recordings
- Chris Connor - Warm Cool: The Atlantic Years (2000)
- Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook (1959)
- The Boston Pops have recorded the song for multiple albums: Fiedler's Favorite Marches and Marches in Hi Fi conducted by Arthur Fiedler, as well as Pops Stoppers conducted by John Williams.
- The UCLA Marching Band has recorded the song on a number of Long Playing records and Compact discs released through the school.
Other UCLA School songs
- Hail to the Hills of Westwood - UCLA Alma Mater song
- Mighty Bruins - UCLA Fight song from 1984
- Rover (song) - UCLA Victory song
- Sons of Westwood
- Gordon, Larry - At 81, tune is a hit at Big Dance. Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2008. George and Ira Gershwin originally wrote the tune for 'Strike Up the Band for UCLA' in 1927.
- Strike Up the Band at UCLA - The UCLA History Project (ucla.edu)
- Spring Sing – Gershwin Award, UCLA Alumni Association, March, 2011