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"Skol, Vikings" (IPA: //, //) is the fight song of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League. It was introduced around the time the team was founded in 1961. The words and music are attributed to James "Red" McLeod, a composer from Edina, Minnesota.
The old recording is usually played whenever the team scores, accompanied by cheerleaders carrying flags that spell out the team's name, as per the lyrics. It is also played at the end of the game, after a victory.
Skol (written "skål" in Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish and "skál" in Faroese and Icelandic or "skaal" in transliteration of any of those languages) is the Danish-Norwegian-Swedish word for "cheers", or "good health", a salute or a toast, as to an admired person or group.
When the Vikings moved into U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, they started a new tradition at home games, called the "Skol Chant." At various points during the game, Viking fans raise their hands and clap twice to the beat of a drum before yelling, "Skol!" It was borrowed from the "Viking war chant" made famous by supporters of the Iceland national football team during their Cinderella run at Euro 2016. The Vikings joined up with Iceland’s Aron Gunnarsson and Iceland native Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson to introduce the chant. In turn, Iceland's supporters borrowed it from Scotland's Motherwell F.C..
Gophers and Minnesota Rouser
Many of the University of Minnesota's fight songs were also written and/or arranged by McLeod. To honor this connection, the University pep bands often perform a rendition of the song, retitled "Skol, Gophers", with "G-O-P-H-E-R-S" replacing the spell-out and sometimes other specific sport-related changes.
- "Minnesota Vikings - Skol Vikings Song". Vikings.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- FOX. "Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul news - KMSP". KMSP. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- "Sports Illustrated". CNN.com. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
- Joseph, Andrew (2016-10-03). "Iceland shared its bone-chilling chant with the Minnesota Vikings. It needs work". USA Today.
- Davis, Callum (July 8, 2016). "Revealed: the origin of Iceland's 'Viking Thunder-Clap' celebration". The Telegraph.