Victory March (fight song)

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"Victory March" redirects here. For the 1976 Italian drama film, see Victory March (film).

"Victory March" is the fight song for the University of Notre Dame. The Rev. Michael J. Shea, a 1905 Notre Dame graduate, wrote the music, and his brother, John F. Shea, who earned degrees from Notre Dame in 1906 and 1908, wrote the original lyrics. The lyrics were revised in the 1920s; Victory March first appeared under the copyright of the University of Notre Dame in 1928.

The chorus of the song is one of the most recognizable collegiate fight songs in the United States, and was ranked first among fight songs by Northern Illinois University Professor William Studwell, who remarked it was "more borrowed, more famous and, frankly, you just hear it more."[1] The eminent college football analyst and historian Beano Cook ranked the Victory March "the fourth most well-known song in the country, behind only 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' 'Happy Birthday' and 'White Christmas'."[2]


"Rally sons of Notre Dame: Sing her glory and sound her fame,
Raise her Gold and Blue
And cheer with voices true:
Rah, rah, for Notre Dame
We will fight in ev-ry game,
Strong of heart and true to her name
We will ne'er forget her
And will cheer her ever
Loyal to Notre Dame

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 are marching
Onward to victory."

The original lyrics were written when all athletes at Notre Dame were male and thus refers to the university's "sons." The university became a co-education institution in 1972 and, in recognition of that fact, the 'Victory March' is now played for athletic teams composed also of women, many modify the words accordingly.[citation needed] An unofficial modification replaces "While her loyal sons are marching / Onward to victory" with "While her loyal sons and daughters / March on to victory".[citation needed]

In media[edit]

Knute Rockne, All American, Knute Rockne (played by Pat O'Brien) delivers the emotional "Win one for the Gipper" speech, at which point the background music swells with the Victory March. Drawing from this reference, the song has been used in mass media in situations that seemed to compel an inspirational "halftime speech". The "Win one for the Gipper" speech was parodied in the 1980 movie Airplane! when, with the Victory March rising to a crescendo in the background, Dr. Rumak, played by Leslie Nielsen, urged reluctant pilot Ted Striker, played by Robert Hays, to "win one for the Zipper", Striker's war buddy, George Zipp. The Victory March also plays during the film's credits. The song also was prominent in the movie Rudy, an account of the life of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. The Dropkick Murphys released an instrumental version of the Victory March, called "Victory" with the single Walk Away and subsequently with their collection, Singles Collection, Volume 2. The song was used in the 20th season of The Simpsons in an episode called Double, Double, Boy in Trouble, as a reference to Joe Montana, an alum of Notre Dame, who made a brief cameo in that episode. On the television series Scrubs, the character Dr. Perry Cox sarcastically sings the Victory March melody to rally Elliot and Turk to action in Season 2, Episode 11.[3]


  1. ^ "Irish fight song deemed better than M's 'Victors'". The Michigan Daily News. September 11, 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  2. ^ Lukacs, John D. "Lukacs: ND's Victory March Transcends Sports". ESPN. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ citation needed

External links[edit]